Bloomberg News

Obama Renews $80 Million Bid for Science, Math Teachers

February 10, 2012

(Updates with Obama quote in third paragraph, contributors in fifth.)

Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama said he’ll request $80 million in education funding for training math and science teachers to help the U.S. stay competitive in world commerce, reviving a budget request last year.

The president made the announcement in conjunction with an event honoring winners of the second annual White House science fair. More than 100 students from more than 45 states engaged in projects in science, technology, engineering and math, according to the White House.

“You’re making sure we have the best, smartest most skilled workers in the world, so that the jobs and industries tomorrow take root, right here,” Obama told students at the White House. “You’re making sure America will win the race to the future.”

The administration says the funding for math and science teachers is to support development of school curricula in subject areas to meet the goal of training 1 million graduates in science, technology, engineering and math over the next decade. That ultimately will spur development of technological breakthrough that will create jobs, according to the White House.

Obama said he’ll request $80 million for teacher training as part of his fiscal 2013 budget, which will be sent to Congress on Feb. 13. Another $22 million would come from pledges by philanthropic and private sector organizations including Carnegie Corporation of New York, Google Inc., and Bill and Melinda Gates, among others, bringing total potential funding to $102 million.

A year ago, the president called for preparation of 100,000 science, technology, education and math teachers over the next decade. He included an $80 million request to begin recruiting 10,000 teachers over two years.

That request stalled because it was included in a package renewing the Elementary Secondary Education Act and Congress didn’t act on the measure.

--Editors: Joe Sobczyk, Bob Drummond

To contact the reporters on this story: Roger Runningen in Washington at rrunningen@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Komarow at skomarow1@bloomberg.net


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