Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Statement by the President Upon Signing the District of Columbia Public Education Act.

November 07, 1966

AT LAST, public higher education is coming to the Nation's Capital.

The District of Columbia Public Education Act, which I have signed today, is a landmark. No longer will District children be denied the opportunity, available to high school graduates in every State, to continue their education after high school in a publicly supported institution.

When the Federal City College and the Washington Technical Institute open their doors, a long-standing educational inequity will be eliminated.

Higher education is the key that unlocks many doors today; a high school diploma, too often, is not enough. Opportunities must be available at a minimum cost for every young person to continue his education to the limit of his capacity. Similar opportunities must be available for adults who seek to upgrade and update their skills.

The two new educational institutions will provide these educational opportunities. They will offer programs in the arts and sciences as well as vocational and technical training programs.

I pledge the full support of the Federal Government in making these institutions not only a success, but a model for the Nation.

I wish to commend Senator Morse and Representative Ancher Nelsen, as well as Congressmen McMillan, Dowdy, and Whitener, and the many others who devoted their time and talent to this bill. I wish also to thank the members of the Committee on Publicly Supported Higher Education in the District of Columbia, whose report to me provided the groundwork essential for this legislation.

Note: As enacted, the District of Columbia Public Education Act is Public Law 89-791 (80 Stat. 1426).
The statement was released at San Antonio, Texas.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Statement by the President Upon Signing the District of Columbia Public Education Act. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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