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Recorded remarks on the Message on Education.
January 12, 1965

I AM TODAY sending the 89th Congress a message on the number one business on this Nation's agenda, and that is the education of our young people. I have proposed that we set full educational opportunity as our first national goal.

Every child must be encouraged to get as much education as he has the ability to take. We want this for his sake, and we want this for the country's sake.

The cost of neglecting this runs very high indeed. One student out of every three that are now in the fifth grade will drop out before finishing high school. One million a year will simply quit school unless their desire to learn is greatly stimulated in the days ahead.

We have statistics which show the price they will pay in unemployment and in substandard living, but the very important thing too is that the Nation also pays a great price.

We now spend about $450 a year to keep one child in school, but it costs you $2,500 a year for a family on relief, and it costs us $3,500 a year for that boy that dropped out of that $450 a year school and became a criminal in State prison.

We spend seven times as much on a youth that has gone bad as on helping him to make good.

Education is "the guardian genius of our democracy." Nothing really means more to our future, not our military defenses, not our missiles or our bombers, not our production economy, not even our democratic system of government. For all of these are worthless if we lack the brain power to support them and to sustain them.

We know that nuclear age problems cannot be solved with horse and buggy learning, so the proposals that your President submitted to Congress today will match the size of these tasks.

My budget for education and all programs relating to education for fiscal year 1966 will contain a total of $8,600 million, and this includes funds to expand programs started last year as well as $1 1/2 billion to finance new programs--over $8 billion. It was something over $4 billion in the budget when I took office; the '64 budget. So from '64 to '66 we have gone from 4 billion to 8 billion.

Now this is a large expenditure, but it is a small price to pay for preserving this Nation, for saving our free enterprise system, and for developing our country's most priceless resource, our young people.

NOTE: The President's remarks were recorded on video tape at 4:01 p.m. in the Theater at the White House for later broadcast.

An advance text of the President's remarks entitled "Statement by the President on His Message on Education" was released by the White House earlier in the day.