Local News

Clinton Stresses Education in N.C. Address

Posted March 13, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— There could be no doubt where President Clinton was Thursday as he spoke of Governor Jim Hunt and UNC basketball coach Dean Smith's run for Adolph Rupp's win record. But the president also left no doubt that the central theme of his address to North Carolina legislators was education.

Clinton described N.C. as a "good example", with a strong economy, strong job growth and rising test scores. He said the entire nation needs to support a push for higher education standards. Improvements could be made, he said, in enabling schools to prepare students for the growing number of highly-skilled, high-end jobs.

The president said Governor Hunt had been a mentor of his when Clinton took office as governor of Arkansas 18 years ago. He called Hunt's Smart Start program an example he'll spread nationwide.

The lawmakers seemed very receptive to Clinton's message. There were a few protesters carrying signs and banners outside. Eleven Republican representatives had voted against having the president come to N.C. Thursday.