FIVE years after Bill Clinton the governor helped launch the movement to set education goals for America's schools, Bill Clinton the president is putting them into law.
The Goals 2000 legislation authorizes $647 million for education reforms this year, including $400 million in grants to states and local school agencies. It writes into law the education goals agreed to in 1989 by then-President Bush and the nation's governors at a summit at which Mr. Clinton led the negotiations for the states.
Two new goals have been added since then, encouraging parents' involvement in education and professional development for teachers.
Clinton, on a week-long vacation in southern California, was expected to sign the legislation yesterday at the Zamorano Fine Arts Academy, a public arts magnet elementary school in south San Diego.
Clinton sees education reforms as the first step in a move toward a ``lifetime learning'' system that also includes school-to-work programs.
The bill requires states participating in Goals 2000 programs to develop - but not necessarily implement - education-reform plans that include voluntary standards on such things as curriculum content, student performance, and teacher preparation.
States are not required to participate in this program.
The Clinton administration has requested $700 million for Goals 2000 for fiscal 1995.
Groups of educators, parents, and community leaders already are meeting to establish benchmarks on what children should know in math, science, language arts, history, and other academic subjects.
Arts goals were released earlier this year.
The legislation also, for the first time, will target federal dollars to make schools safer for children.