Part five of a seven-part series
Barack Obama's Plan for America: Education
President Obama has taken an approach on education that includes reforming student loan repayment, offering incentives to keep good teachers in the classroom, implementation of Race to the Top and expansion of the 9/11 GI Bill. The president has strengthened the Pell Grant program by increasing funding by 95 percent in an effort to make obtaining a higher education more accessible for students who cannot afford college.
Student Loan Repayment
Obama fought to prevent student loan interest rates from doubling. He set a goal to reduce tuition by half over the next decade. He will reduce student aid available to colleges that will not reduce their costs. He also placed a cap of 10% of income on student loan repayment. His intention in implementing these changes is to encourage students to make decisions based on their career objectives rather than being hindered by tuition prices. has suggested that students borrow the money from their parents or shop around for the least expensive educational opportunities.
Incentives to keep good teachers in the classroom
Obama understands the impact a good teacher can have on students. He is awarding $290 million in grants that will reward top ranking teachers and increase opportunities for teachers who work in impoverished schools. The funds will flow to almost 1,000 schools in 18 states, according to the Department of Education. This program is designed to give incentives to schools through evaluation of faculties and performance-based pay. The president does not see education as a “top-down, one-size-fits-all” issue and he supports giving states the flexibility to be creative in their attempt to improve the quality of education they offer to their students.
Race to the Top
The president supports a national effort to improve the quality of education for all students. This initiative spurred 46 states to raise standards as well as rewarding innovative approaches to improving the quality of education. By raising the standards of education, attracting and retaining high quality educators, utilizing innovative approaches to help struggling school systems turn around and encouraging a collaborative environment, the president believe that all American students can receive a higher level of education which will prepare them for college and entering the work force when they become adults.
Expanding 9/11 GI Bill
The president has implemented various programs that improve the services available to war veterans as they reintegrate to society after serving our nation. With the changes made to the GI Bill, more than 800,000 veterans and family members have been able to pursue a higher education.
Obama has taken an approach to education that improves the quality of education students receive, making attending college less cost prohibitive and helping our veterans and their families receive educational opportunities.
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Additional articles in this series:
Analysis of President Obama’s plan (summary)