Carper to Deliver Democratic Response to President’s weekly Radio Address

WILMINGTON, DE – Praising his years of work to raise student achievement, the Democratic Party chose Senator Tom Carper to deliver the his party’s response to President George W. Bush’s weekly radio address tomorrow. “I am thankful for this chance to talk to the nation about the most important challenges facing America today – the education of our children and the preparation of a world-class American workforce for the 21st Century,” Carper said. “We will debate a lot of issues in this Senate Chamber this year. But the debate on education funding will go farther than any other in determining the shape of our nation’s future.” Carper will focus on the areas where Republicans and Democrats can work together to raise student achievement, and call on Congress and the President to make greater investments in funding education programs that work. During the budget debate this week, Carper joined with Republican Senator Lincoln Chafee to offer a substitute budget amendment that would have cut taxes by $1.2 trillion while investing $150 billion more to support public education. Carper is also the prime sponsor of the Empowering Parents (Charter Schools and Choice) Act, which has seven Republican and seven Democrat cosponsors. “Democrats and Republicans agree that it is important for states to set rigorous academic standards in math, science, English, and social studies. We agree that it is important to measure objectively progress towards those standards,” Carper said. “Where Democrats disagree with the President and most Republicans in Congress are on the level of resources that the federal government should commit to ensure that all kids have a real shot at meeting the academic standards of their states.” When President Bush visited a Boys and Girls Club in Wilmington, he spoke glowingly of Delaware’s recent accomplishments in improving public education. Under then-Governor Carper’s leadership, Delaware witnessed raising scores in math and reading across the board in every county and every school district in Delaware; became the first state to put into place a comprehensive system of standards, accountability and local control; offer universal public school choice, and wire every classroom to the Internet. Delaware has the best ratio of students to computers in all of America and fully funds Head Start for every four-year-old living in poverty.