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May 24, 2001

Gov. Ryan Urges U.S. Senate to Pass Bush Education Plan
Governor will focus push for accountability on Capitol Hill

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today applauded the U.S. House for approving President Bush's Education Reform Agenda, which will create greater accountability in the nation's schools by requiring annual testing. The Governor urged its swift passage in the United States Senate and said he will focus his lobbying efforts to supporting the President's more sweeping plan in Congress rather than in Springfield.

"This year, like President Bush, I supported raising accountability standards in Illinois as part of my program to continue a record third year of investing 51 percent of new revenues to education," Governor Ryan said. "With the U.S. House making great progress on a bill that would create annual testing for children between the 3rd and 8th grades, it makes sense now to focus our energies on supporting this comprehensive national program. This will be more constructive than duplicating efforts for a state program that may not be consistent with the new federal guidelines."

"Our kids grow up fast, so we need to know now if our kids can read by third grade, we need to know now if they're ready for high school," Governor Ryan said.

Governor Ryan is instructing his administration to begin efforts now aimed towards meeting the pending federal accountability guidelines.

President Bush's plan calls for annual testing of children from 3rd through the 8th grade. The President's plan would make additional federal funds available to schools that do not meet standards initially, but would be penalized for persistent failure. It would also allow students in failing public schools to use federal funds for tutoring, summer school or transportation to other schools.


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