President Bush highlights Cristo Rey Network as a successful and innovative school model at White House Summit on Inner-City Children and Faith-Based Schools

President Bush Attends White House Summit on Inner-City Children and Faith-Based Schools
Ronald Reagan Building
Washington, D.C.

President George W. Bush delivers remarks Thursday, April 24, 2008, during the White House Summit on Inner-City Children and Faith-Based Schools. Said the President, "I am fully aware that in inner-city America some children are getting a good education, but a lot are consigned to inadequate schools. I believe helping these children should be a priority of a nation. It's certainly aBush priority to me."

The following is excerpted from the full speech:
"In Chicago a group of Jesuit priests found an innovative way to finance children's education called Cristo Rey, and they convinced Chicago's businesses to become involved. It's interesting that the Jesuits took the initiative. I would hope that corporate America would also take initiative. (Laughter.) But four days of the week the children go to class and then on the fifth they report for work at some of Chicago's most prestigious firms.

The businesses get energetic, reliable workers for high-turnover jobs. The students get a top-notch education plus real work experience. They feel a sense of pride when they leave some of the city's most dangerous neighborhoods for the city's tallest skyscrapers. It's a program that is working, and many of the students take that same sense of pride and accomplishment to higher education.

It's interesting to note that Cristo Rey is now involved in 19 cities. In other words, good ideas can take hold. The job of this conference is to provide a kind of go-by for people who share a sense of concern about our nation's future. And hopefully from this summit good ideas will be spawning other good ideas -- at the federal level and the state and local level, at the corporate level, and then of course at the citizen level."