Bush, in radio address, says education is key to racial opportunity

Saturday, February 9th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) _ President Bush said Saturday that his new budget is on track to reach a goal of a 30 percent increase in federal aid to black institutions of higher learning over four years.

``Our historically black colleges and universities opened the door to knowledge, when other doors were barred,'' Bush said in his weekly radio address, which marked national Black History Month. ``And today they offer exciting opportunities to young people to contribute to their country.''

The president's radio talk was broadcast as he began a relaxing private weekend in Wyoming's Jackson Hole with its ski trails and panoramic views of the Grand Tetons.

``They tell me it's quite a spectacular place to look at,'' he told an audience in Denver on Friday morning.

His host is Roland Betts, who was a Yale University classmate of Bush and a partner with him in the Texas Rangers major league baseball team.

Bush arrived here from Salt Lake City, where he presided over the opening of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.

His radio address showcased his administration's education bill and the mission of the nation's historically black colleges and universities.

The bill, he said, is an important step to ``returning high standards and accountability to all our public schools.''

Bush said his federal spending plan, made public this week, puts the administration on track to substantially increase federal aid for black universities.

In his address, he invoked the names of a long roster of black heroes, including Frederick Douglass, W.E. B. DuBois, Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, ``who courageously refused to yield to injustice on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus.''

``Today we are fighting for freedom in a new way, and on new battlefields,'' Bush said in a reference to the war on terrorism.

``And we continue to press for equal opportunity for every American here at home,'' he said. ``We want every American to be educated up to his or her full potential.''