December 21, 2000
SPENCER MICHELS: President-elect Bush bid farewell to his Governorship of Texas at the state capital.
PRESIDENT-ELECT GEORGE W. BUSH: There's only one thing that would cause
me to leave early. (Laughter ) ...And that's to become your President.
(Applause) These past six years have been a time of steady progress
in Texas, and no one person can claim credit. It has been a record of
shared success, a true tribute to bipartisan efforts. When our schools
weren't measuring up, we gave them high standards and the resources
necessary to meet them. When excessive litigation clogged our courts,
we put reason and common sense back into our criminal justice system.
When we risked losing another generation to crime and violence, we reformed
our juvenile justice laws and worked to provide hope and responsibility
to our young. And when Texas workers and entrepreneurs left our state
with a surplus, we did the right thing by letting Texans keep more of
their own earnings.
Through it all, I have tried to be a good steward of the office, to
shape this state for the better. I've cleaned out my office. It's ready
for occupancy. Laura and I need a little more time to move out of the
mansion. (Laughter) We've got a lot of thanks to give, and we'll be
giving them over the next 30 days. But my wish is, is that the new Governor
enjoys living in the mansion as much as we did. It won't be our home,
but Texas always will be. (Applause ) God bless. (Applause )
PRESIDENT-ELECT GEORGE W. BUSH: I would characterize our meeting as very hopeful, hopeful that we can find a way to pass legislation that will do the following things: One, make sure that no child is left behind; two, that we'll empower local folks to make correct decisions for schools; three, that says with freedom comes the need for all of us to understand whether or not our children are learning to read and write and add and subtract -- that obviously, there wasn't 100% agreement in our approach to the issues, but there was a lot of agreement, so I can say we had a good beginning, a really good beginning. There is no better place to start in showing America that our Congress and the President can cooperate for the best for the country than education.
SPENCER MICHELS: Members from both sides of the aisle said the meeting was fruitful.
SEN. JIM JEFFORDS: The things that we agree upon and the ones that I think we almost all go away united on, and that is, first of all, that we must make sure our children come to school ready to learn. And so the initiatives that we will push initially will be to make sure that the literacy program of the President is at the forefront, so that all our children will have the opportunity to be able to read. I know another area that I certainly have agreement with the President on is special education, that we have to elevate the importance of it and to make sure that we can improve upon it, especially to try to make sure the federal government lives up to its obligations.
REP. GEORGE MILLER: This was really about President-elect Bush speaking in a very candid manner and a very forceful manner about, as he said, his passion -- that all children have an opportunity at a first class education, and he made that very clear, that that was what he was bringing to this discussion. And this really unprecedented meeting of educational leaders and the House and the Senate, Republicans and Democrats, I think we responded to this invitation because we recognize the opportunity that it presents us as a nation, as a Congress, to work with the new administration and achieve a real bipartisan change in the manner in which education is delivered in this country and holding people accountable.
SPENCER MICHELS: Education was again the topic at an Austin high school, where Mr. Bush met with Hispanic leaders from around the country. Mr. Bush is expected to continue working on cabinet nominations over the next few days.