on February 27, 2012 by admin in National News, Comments (0)

Obama to governors: "Invest more in education"

President Barack Obama points to the place where he fired a marshmallow gun while speaking before the National Governors Association, Monday, Feb. 27, 2012, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington.

(Credit: AP Photo/Susan Walsh) President Obama on Monday called on American governors to prioritize education in their state budgets, and to "invest more in our children and our future."

In remarks during the final day of the National Governors Association's winter meeting in Washington, D.C., Mr. Obama heralded America's gradual economic recovery, but emphasized that improving the nation's educational system must be a part of state-wide and national efforts at sustaining that growth.

"Our recovery is gaining speed and the economy is getting stronger," Mr. Obama told the group of governors. "We've got a do everything we can to sustain this progress."

Chief among the necessary steps toward doing that, he said, is making sure that "every American is equipped with the skills and the education" to contribute to economic growth and innovation.

"No issue will have a bigger impact on the future performance of our economy than education," he said. "Today I'm calling on all of you: Invest more in education... Invest more in our children and our future."

Touting his administration's efforts at reform - including allowing some states to opt out of the controversial education law No Child Left Behind and providing incentives for high-performing school systems - the president urged governors to follow suit.

"Too many states are making cuts to education that I believe are simply too big," he said, noting that more than 40 states cut funding for education in the last year. "Budgets are about choices."

"We need resources and reform," he added.

The president also reiterated his belief in the need to provide young people with the opportunity to attend college if they want to.

"For students that are ready for college, we've got to make sure that college is affordable," he said.

Mr. Obama's repeated focus on higher education has prompted his Republican presidential rival Rick Santorum to deride the president as a "snob." Santorum has also taken aim at "liberal college professors" attempting to "indoctrinate" students.

The president, however, argues that America cannot pull ahead of economic rivals like China unless high priority is given to cultivating innovation among students.

"I don't think any of this should be a partisan issue," he said. "All of us should be about giving every American who wants a chance to succeed that chance."

Students, he said, "are willing to work hard. They are willing to dig deep to achieve. And we've got a responsibility to give them a fair shot. If we do, then I'm absolutely convinced that our future is going to be as bright as all of us want."

Monday marks the final day of the governors' annual meeting. On Friday, Democratic governors met with Mr. Obama to talk about manufacturing in their states. On Sunday, all governors were invited to a black tie dinner with Mr. Obama.

Republican governors are slated to hold a press conference discussing the White House meeting, according to the Associated Press.


Article source: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57385936-503544/obama-to-governors-invest-more-in-education/

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