- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 20, 2002

From combined dispatches
President Bush announced plans yesterday to devote an extra $2 billion to federal programs for special education students and the nation's poorest schools. Such a commitment, he said, is in keeping with the philosophies of Martin Luther King Jr.
Mr. Bush used his weekly radio address to link the federal King holiday to his efforts to improve education, saying the "institutionalized bigotry" that King fought has been vanquished, and it is now time to take on less tangible struggles, such as ensuring equal education.
"Our challenge is to make sure that every child has a fair chance to succeed in life," Mr. Bush said. "That is why education is the great civil rights issue of our time."
Mr. Bush said he will propose, in his 2003 budget plan, a $1 billion increase in funding for federal Title I programs for disadvantaged students. He will also propose a $1 billion increase in assistance for "special needs" children under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
The White House said the money announced yesterday is a 10 percent increase in Title I funding and a 13 percent increase in IDEA funding over the previous year.
Also yesterday, the president proclaimed today as "National Sanctity of Life Day." As abortion opponents gathered to mark the 29th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision legalizing the procedure, Mr. Bush said "the right to life itself" is chief among the rights on which the republic is founded.
"Unborn children should be welcomed in life and protected in law," Mr. Bush said in the proclamation, which underscored the "inalienable rights" asserted by the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

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