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Statement on Funding for Reading Programs

August 13, 1999

Today I am pleased to announce that the Department of Education is awarding $231 million in grants to help States, school districts, and communities help all of our children learn to read well. Reading is the building block for all learning. Nearly 40 percent of America's fourth graders, however, cannot read on their own. That is why my administration is working to ensure that every child can read independently by the end of the third grade. From working to reduce class size in the early grades to launching our American Reads program, this is an investment in our children and our future. Unfortunately, the Republican tax plan could force us to slash funding for this important initiative by as much as half in the years to come. Every one of us should do our part to help our children learn to read, and I call on Congress to put politics aside and put our children's future first.

William J. Clinton, Statement on Funding for Reading Programs Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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