3:33 PM EDT

Diane Watson, D-CA 33rd

Ms. WATSON. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members [Page: H3025]

may have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the resolution under consideration.

3:33 PM EDT

John Tierney, D-MA 6th

Mr. TIERNEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the recipients of the El Dorado Promise scholarship.

The El Dorado Promise scholarship is a tuition scholarship which allows all students who graduate after attending all 4 years of high school in the El Dorado Public School District to attend any accredited 2- or 4-year college or university. While the enrollment in the El Dorado Public School District has decreased over 15 consecutive years, the establishment of this scholarship has seen enrollment in the district significantly increase. This scholarship program has also increased the number

of students going to college after graduating high school by 20 percent.

Mr. Speaker, these numbers are very impressive and I commend the students who have taken advantage of this wonderful opportunity.

As you know, many students are struggling to pay the rising costs of tuition across the country. Additionally, students are graduating with more debt than ever before, and are working harder and harder to pay back their college loans. This growing college crisis has serious implications not just for students and families, but also for our Nation's economic future. In order to maintain our economic leadership in the world, we must make aggressive investments in our current and future workforce.

Scholarships and grants similar to the El Dorado Promise scholarship, such as Georgia's Hope Scholarship, and California's CAL Grant continue to help students achieve their goal of going to college and alleviate the debt burden they carry after college.

Once again, I congratulate the recipients of the El Dorado Promise scholarship, and I thank the gentleman from Arkansas (Mr. Ross) for offering this resolution.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

3:35 PM EDT

Charles Boustany Jr., R-LA 7th

Mr. BOUSTANY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H. Res. 1155 which honors the recipients of the El Dorado Promise scholarship.

On April 30, 2008, El Dorado High School students who received the El Dorado Promise scholarship signed their academic letters of intent for the colleges and universities they will be attending upon graduation.

Thanks to funding provided by the Murphy Oil Corporation, the Promise scholarship gives El Dorado students an additional opportunity to pursue higher education. The scholarship provides up to 5 years of tuition and mandatory fees for undergraduate post-secondary education for students entering college immediately following high school.

To be eligible for the program, students must have attended local schools for at least 4 years. The annual scholarship is limited to the highest yearly rate charged by an Arkansas public university, currently $6,010, but the oil company has factored inflation into the program, and plans to be in place for 20 years.

In this era of global competitiveness, it is increasingly important for students to obtain a college education in order to keep up with the demands of the modern workforce. We know how important higher education is both to individuals and to our Nation. A college degree can be a ticket to the middle class. It helps individuals prepare for good jobs, and it allows them to pursue new skills in a changing economy. Higher education also has important societal benefits. College-educated citizens are

healthier, more civically involved, have lower unemployment rates, and use fewer government benefits.

The El Dorado scholarship program has increased the number of high school students who choose to attend college after graduation by 20 percent, so it is my pleasure to acknowledge the El Dorado Promise scholarship program for its important role in the revitalization of southern Arkansas; and to recognize Murphy Oil Corporation for its efforts to ensure that children from southern Arkansas who might otherwise struggle in financing a college education are able to attend college. I urge my colleagues

to support the resolution.

Mr. Speaker, I have no further requests for time, and I yield back the balance of my time.

3:37 PM EDT

William Lacy Clay Jr., D-MO 1st

Mr. CLAY. Mr. Speaker, let me thank the gentleman from Nebraska (Mr. Fortenberry) for bringing this timely resolution to the floor. And also let me wish all of the sisters, mothers, aunts, nieces, grandmothers, and friends Happy Mother's Day this Sunday.

I yield back the balance of my time.