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HILLARY CLINTON STANDS BEHIND GOALS 2000

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Hillary Rodham Clinton insists that educators should have no worries about the administration's Goals 2000 program creating a national school board.

"Having lived now in Washington for three years, I think it would be mighty hard for Washington to tell anyone what to do at the local school board level," the first lady said.The remark prompted applause from 700 local board members attending the National School Boards Association's annual conference Monday.

She said 48 states have received funds from Goals 2000, which sets voluntary academic standards that schools can work at the local level to attain.

Another speaker, Rep. Mark Souder, R-Ind., a member of the House Education Committee, told the conference the trend in America is against big government and said national education standards are the "last thing" America needs.

Hillary Clinton said the public education system has served the nation well but admitted it needs reform. But she said the time is not right to cut federal education spending now that changes aimed at reform are being implemented.