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White House Adds $4 Billion For Education

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President Obama’s State of the Union address last week was about fiscal discipline, the need to freeze non-security discretionary spending at $447 billion. But, despite his call for austerity, Obama also outlined plans to boost federal education spending. The administration says it will seek to boost the Department of Education’s budget by $4 billion when Obama releases his budget plan this week, according to Bloomberg news service.

More than a third of that money, $1.35 billion, would expand his Race to the Top grant program, which rewards states for raising academic standards and improving failing schools. Another $1 billion would be spent on overhauling No Child Left Behind, President Bush’s signature education program, if Congress reauthorizes it. No Child rewards states based on results of standardized tests, but critics say many states have watered down standards of state tests to ensure funding. Obama’s overhaul would set a national set of standards, Bloomberg says, but also give states more flexibility in meeting them.

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