President Obama on Wednesday announced a new $1 billion effort to boost U.S. students’ achievements in core technology, engineering, math and science classes. The program will create an “elite corp” of masters teachers to help better educate students and train teachers.
Under terms of the program high-performing teachers will receive salary stipends, an attempt to encourage better teaching practices in the classroom which in turn leads to better students. The Obama administration says it hopes to close the gap between American and international students.
Teachers who apply for and are accepted into the Master Teacher Corp will receive an additional $20,000 per year and must commit to at least several years in the program. The Obama administration will ask those teachers to share their expert knowledge and skills with other teachers, ultimately in an attempt to better the American education system all together.
As expected during a speech in San Antonio President Obama pointed out that while his Republican challenger Mitt Romney is attempting to cut taxes for the mega-rich, Obama is working towards funding education and offering top performing teachers additional incentives.
Obama said during his speech:
“I’m running to make sure that America has the best education system on earth, from pre-K all the way to post-graduate. And that means hiring new teachers, especially in math and science.”
The program will start with $100 million in funding to be handed out immediately to top-performing teachers, the remaining $900 million is part of the administrations 2013 budget request.
President Obama attempted to cover the funds earlier in the year but his request was shot down by the House and Senate.
Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee notes that more than 80 teacher quality programs already exist and adding one more would be foolish, perhaps even unproductive.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan believes both sides will eventually agree to fund the program.
The United States according to a recent survey must increase the number of math, science and technology students by 34% in order to keep up with public demand well into the future.