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STATE OF THE UNION

Key Points in the Speech

Education

January 28, 1998

More teachers: Enable schools districts to hire 100,000 instructors, enough to reduce the national average class size in first through third grades from 22 to 18. Five-year cost: $7.3 billion.

New schools: Pay interest on nearly $22 billion in school district bonds for building and renovating buildings. Five-year cost: $5 billion.

Education opportunity zones: Target federal resources on 50 high-poverty school districts that develop plans to improve student achievement. Five-year cost: $1.5 billion.

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GLOBAL ECONOMY

Fast track: Give the president authority (which Congress denied him last year) to move international trade agreements through Congress without possibility of amendment.

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WELFARE

Welfare to work: Provide housing vouchers to 50,000 additional families that need housing assistance to get or keep a job. One-year cost: $283 million.

Child support: Raise child-support payments, $13 billion nationally last year, to $20 billion in the year 2000 by cracking down on deadbeat parents.

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HEALTH CARE

Patient rights: Enact a consumer bill of rights that would guarantee access to medical specialists, assure the confidentiality of medical records and provide for appeals by participants in managed-care plans.

Medicare: Allow Americans between 62 and 64 to buy into the Medicare program, and offer Medicare coverage to some laid-off workers between 55 and 64.

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CHILD CARE

Subsidies: Expand federal child-care subsidies. Five-year cost: $7.5 billion.

Tax breaks: Increase the child-care credit for families earning less than $60,000 a year. Five-year cost: $5.2 billion.

Grants: Provide federal grants for communities to improve the quality and safety of child care. Five-year cost: $3 billion.

Early childhood education: Expand the Head Start program. Five-year cost: $3.8 billion.

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FOREIGN RELATIONS

Asia crisis: Renew America's financial support for the International Monetary Fund.

NATO enlargement: Obtain Senate approval of treaty to add new members to NATO.

Bosnia: Maintain U.S. troops in Bosnia under U.S. command, with the European allies shouldering a full share of responsibility.

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