President Obama to Announce Cuts in 2012 Budget, but Not to Education

Jordyn Phelps reports: Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says President Obama will be some announcing some “tough” and “painful” cuts when he lays out his 2010 budget next week but says those cuts will not compromise children’s education. “The president is making very tough cuts, and painful cuts, across agencies, and there are pieces of our budget that are being hit hard, but we have to continue to invest,” Duncan said. “What parents don’t want is their children’s future to be impacted.” Next week, President Obama will highlight the administration’s plans to “win the future” through focusing on education. Traveling to Baltimore on Monday, the president will speak to middle school students at Parkville Middle & Center of Technology. Secretary Duncan says the school demonstrates the sort of hands-on learning and critical thinking that is necessary for preparing students for “the jobs of tomorrow.” “To win the future, we have to begin to out-educate our competitors,” Duncan said. “Unfortunately, the brutal fact is, today, there are many developed countries that are out-educating us.” Duncan says that promoting STEM education is one of the president’s top priorities, as it will be vital to moving America’s students from “the middle to the top of the pack internationally.” The president will be joined by Vice President Joe Biden and OMB Director Jack Lew on this visit, where they will discuss the president’s 2012 budget and the administration’s plans to invest specifically in education. “He’s proposing a responsible budget that makes important investments in education reforms that will deliver results,” Duncan said. “The budget will be investing in early learning programs, reform and innovation, and making college affordable.” Duncan said that the president is committed to continuing the “Race to the Top” program, which he called one of the “most meaningful reforms of our public schools in a generation” for the results it has delivered in a short period of time. As indicators of success, he pointed out that 46 states have created reform plans, while 41 states have adopted higher standards. Duncan announced that the administration will be changing how it administers “Race to the Top” funds in the 2012 fiscal year, by supporting districts—rather than states—in implementing reform plans. The vice president will focus on highlighting “Race to the Top” next week, showcasing how this program can be used as a model for infrastructure and energy initiatives. Later in the week, the president will travel to Intel in Hillsboro, Oregon, where he will tour “the world’s most advanced semi-conductor manufacturing facility,” according to White House Deputy Communications Director Jen Psaki. While at Intel, the president will underscore that Intel maintains three-fourths of its “leading edge micro-processor factories” in the US, while also discussing Intel’s STEM education programs. Psaki also pointed out that Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, will visit an elementary school in Georgia on Monday to discuss the administration’s plans for “out-educating the rest of the world.” Dr. Biden’s visit will focus on military families and the specific needs of military children in the classroom.

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