CLINTON: Where we part company is that he didnít support [the Bill for] 100,000 teachers in the classroom. And he has not gone along with the bipartisan plan to build and repair our schools so that we actually can have those lower classroom sizes. And he supports vouchers, which I oppose.
LAZIO: I have voted twice to reduce class size, twice for billions to help us recruit new teachers. I have been a co-sponsor of bipartisan legislation for school construction. You know that. Whatís important here is that we understand the difference between us. Mrs. Clinton believes that all the decisions should be made in Washington, that we should force categorical programs. I understand that communities should be making those decisions on a community-by-community basis.
Q: Is it true what he says - that youíre for testing new teachers but not teachers who are already in the system?
CLINTON: Thatís right. And thatís what the New York law is. You know, I agree that we should be testing new teachers. I believe that we ought to have pay for performance where we evaluate teachers. I think we ought to streamline the due process standards so that teachers that donít measure up would no longer be in the classroom.
CLINTON: The work that was done in Arkansas received numerous awards and praise, because we really started something that Iím very proud of. And test scores went up in third grade and sixth grade. High school graduation went up. The work was done against great odds, in a very poor state.
LAZIO: I have a very different perspective on your record in Arkansas. And I would just urge the voters not to rely on what Iím saying, but to look it up.
CLINTON: Iím not here to defend Arkansas. Iím here to run for the Senate to represent New York.
LAZIO: I realize that you donít want to talk about Arkansas because that experience was a disaster for Arkansas.
CLINTON: Iím happy to talk about it if thatís what you want to spend your time talking about.
LAZIO: Thatís your record, Mrs. Clinton. You canít run away from your record.
Q: Are you trapped by the teachers unions?
CLINTON: No. In fact Iím very much in line with what I think will work and what experts in the field think. You know, Iím a lawyer. I had to take a bar exam. Mr. Lazioís a lawyer. He took a bar exam and he wasnít tested every five years. I think teachers are professionals and should be treated as professionals. Thatís why I believe that we should test teachers in the beginning to make sure that when they got their teaching degree, that theyíre qualified.
CLINTON: I could not support vouchers that would take money away from schools where teachers are in partitioned hallways, where the teacher has the only textbook in the classroom. If we can get class size down, if we can provide qualified teachers, we can make a difference. I support adding 100,000 teachers to lower class size. I support the bipartisan school construction funding authority that would permit New York to have school construction without raising taxes.
LAZIO: I have voted twice to support hiring additional teachers. Under my plan, New York would not get shortchanged. Under Mrs. Clintonís plan, New Yorkers would be subsidizing Southern states. I think itís immoral to force a child to go to a school where they canít learn. Poor parents want to have the choice to give their children the education that I want for my children. I trust parents to make that decision, and thatís a major philosophical difference.
CLINTON: Well, I am hoping that theyíre negotiating and will be back in the classroom full-time without any other problems. The children deserve that and we need to get education started this year. Iím very much committed to doing everything I can to move the education agenda forward. And I do support the idea that the teachers should be working and their action against the Taylor Law is illegal, and I do not believe that thatís appropriate.
LAZIO: I am opposed to teachers striking where it is against the law. In this case, it has been deemed illegal. They need to get back to the classroom, and we should put as our first priority, teaching our children.
|Lazioís $97 Billion Education Plan|
|Loan forgiveness for teachersí college tuition.||$5.75 billion|
|Alternative Certification||$250 million|
|Mentoring to Novice Teachers||$500 million|
|Teacher testing||$5 billion|
|Special education (Disabilities Education Act grants)||$60 billion|
|Science and technology ($3B to keep current; $1B for math & science areas)||$4 billion|
|School vouchers (ďopportunity scholarshipsĒ)||$5 billion|
|Flexible funds (ďHometown ChoiceĒ)||$10 billion|
|School construction & renovation||$5 billion|
|Other candidates on Education:||Rick Lazio on other issues:|
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