Obama Seeking More Money For School Reform Program

01.19.10 | FL News Team

Education reform will be the focus today as President Obama intends to ask for an additional one-point-35-billion dollars to expand his school reform program. Those funds would be on top of the four-point-35-billion already allocated for Obama's "Race to the Top" program and part of the 787-billion-dollar economic stimulus plan. The President's program seeks to link teacher pay to student achievement, along with relaxing the limits on charter schools and creating a common academic standard. The funds will be included in the fiscal 2011 budget proposal. More than 30 states are expected to have applied for the federal grants by today's deadline. A portion of the money will be allocated in April. Schools that do not receive money can reapply in June.

 Obama administration officials say the grant program may extend past 2011. Education Secretary Arne Duncan says the response to the program has been overwhelming. The program was designed to reverse the declining U.S. educational system, which has one of the worst high school dropout rates in the world and whose students often rank low in math and reading skills.