Clinton Opens Teacher Matching Site


Saturday, August 26th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


WASHINGTON (AP) — Moving to address a national teacher gap, President Clinton on Saturday launched a one-stop Internet clearinghouse to help schools find qualified teachers and help teachers find out where the jobs are.

``All across our nation school districts are looking for a new generation of dedicated teachers,'' Clinton said in his weekly radio address, recorded before his departure for Africa on Friday.

``By logging on to www.recruitingteachers.org, school districts can find qualified teachers and teachers can find out where the jobs are,'' he said. ``This will transform what has been a hit-or-miss process into a more efficient, effective exchange of information.

``And over time this (Web) site will help us alleviate the national teacher shortage and to bring down class size,'' the president said. ``By working together as communities and a nation, we can meet the growing need for more teachers in our classrooms.''

Clinton said that when the bells signal the start of classes in schools around the country Monday morning, ``a record 53 million students will fill our classrooms.''

``Unfortunately, thousands of school districts are struggling to find enough teachers to fill them,'' Clinton said. ``Over the next decade America will need to hire 2.2 million new teachers both to handle rising enrollment and to replace those teachers set to retire.''

The president noted that his pending education budget includes $1 billion to recruit and train high-quality teachers and an additional $1.75 billion to pursue his goal of hiring 100,000 qualified teachers to reduce class size in the early grades.

``Since 1998 we've helped local schools hire a third of that total and this year we've asked Congress for funding to reach 50,000,'' he said.

``Studies show what parents already know; students perform better in smaller classes with more individual attention and greater discipline,'' Clinton said.

But Clinton said Congress needs to pass an education budget that provides the means to continue to cut class size and increase teacher quality.

``I also urge Congress to take prompt action on our proposal to help local school districts to tackle the enormous challenge of modernizing old schools and building new ones,'' he said. ``It is high time that we get our children out of trailers and into twenty-first century classrooms.''