Statement by the President Upon Signing the National Vocational Student Loan Insurance Act.
ECONOMISTS tell us that improvement of education has been responsible for one-fourth to one-half of the growth in our Nation's economy over the past half century.
As our population grows, the number of young people--the job seekers--will grow faster than any group among us, and employers will demand more of them. We must be sure that there will be no gap between the number of jobs available and the ability of our people to perform those jobs.
This act will help young people enter business, trade, and technical schools--institutions which play a vital role in providing the skills our citizens must have to compete and contribute in our society.
The $1,875,000 allotted to the States for insured loan programs under this act will make possible almost $19 million in loans. We estimate that in the first year as many as 25,000 young people--receiving grants of up to $1,000--will enjoy its benefits. The amount they return to our economy with their new skills and training is far beyond counting.
--This act will enable the Commissioner of Education to assist in establishing adequate State and nonprofit loan insurance programs for students in these schools;
--It will allow the Commissioner to insure eligible lending institutions against losses on such loans;
--Finally, it will empower him to make direct loans where funds are not normally available through lending institutions.
We have already done much toward providing full educational opportunity in the Nation. The benefits of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 have already begun to flow to the States. The Higher Education Act, which will soon be signed, will provide valuable new assistance to students in our colleges and universities.
But fewer than half of our young people go to college; the quality of life in our country-and the strength of our economy-cannot depend solely upon this minority. This act will be a source of encouragement to capable young people who need training to become useful and productive citizens. I am happy to sign it.
I want to thank the entire 89th Congress-particularly Congressman John Dent and Senator Wayne Morse, who have given much time and labor on behalf of this measure. They have helped move this country closer to the day when no ambitious young person need appear on the unemployment rolls.
Note: As enacted, the National Vocational Student Loan Insurance Act (H.R. 7743) is Public Law 89-287 (79 Stat. 1037).
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 was approved by the President on April 11, 1965 (see Item 181).
The Higher Education Act of 1965 was approved by the President on November 8, 1965 (see Item 603).
Lyndon B. Johnson, Statement by the President Upon Signing the National Vocational Student Loan Insurance Act. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/241170