Challenges Governors to Invest in Education
February 28, 2012
President Obama delivered remarks to the National Governors Association
(NGA) where he challenged governors across the nation to do their part
to ensure American students and workers have the education and training
they need so that we have a workforce prepared for the jobs of the 21st
century. The President believes that in order to create an economy
that’s built to last, we must invest in education and provide every
American the opportunity to develop the skills needed to compete for the
jobs of today and tomorrow.
“Nothing more clearly signals what you value as a state as the decisions
you make about where to invest,” President Obama told governors.
“Budgets are about choices, so today I’m calling on you to choose to
invest more in teachers, invest more in education, and invest more in
our children and their future.”
Education Blueprint: An Economy Built to Last
The White House today released an Education Blueprint: An Economy Built
to Last. In addition to documenting the Administration’s education
efforts, the report shows that last year, more than 40 states cut higher
education spending; these state budget cuts have been the largest factor
in tuition increases at public colleges over the past decade. It also
finds that the majority of states provided less funding for elementary
and secondary schools in 2012 than in 2011.
As the report notes, over the past 23 months, American businesses have
created 3.7 million jobs and last year businesses added the most private
sector jobs since 2005. American manufacturing is creating jobs for the
first time since the late 1990s. The strength of the American economy is
inextricably linked to the strength of America’s education system.
Particularly in times of economic challenge – times like today – the
American economy needs a workforce that is skilled, adaptable, creative,
and equipped for success in the global marketplace.
The President believes that educating our way to an economy built to
last requires shared commitment. In addition to challenging governors to
do their part, the President asked them to keep up pressure on Congress
to pass his proposal to prevent further layoffs and rehire teachers who
had lost their jobs. Additionally, the President will continue to urge
Congress to take critical measures to make college more affordable,
including preventing student loan interest rates from doubling this
summer, making the American Opportunity Tax Credit he signed—worth up to
$10,000 to help families cover the cost of tuition—permanent, securing
funding for Pell Grants, and taking steps to double the number of
work-study jobs over the next 5 years to better assist college students
who are working their way through school.
addition to these important measures, the President believes we must
make critical investments in our nation’s education system. He has
proposed funding to promote partnerships between community colleges and
businesses to train 2 million workers, to continue giving states,
districts and schools the funding and flexibility they need to put a
great teacher in every classroom and build on the successes of the Race
to the Top program, to improve early childhood education, and to create
incentives for innovative reforms to keep college affordable.
The President believes this is a make or break moment for the middle
class and those trying to reach it. In order to create an economy that’s
built to last -- where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone pays their
fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules -- we must make
critical investments in our students and workers and build a foundation
to compete for the jobs of the 21st century.