Education Reform Plans

            Save the teachers, a House Democrat proposes. Cut funding from Obama’s highly-debated education reform proposal and use the money to prevent thousands of teacher layoffs, according to an article in The Washington Post.

            Rep. David R. Obey (Wis.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, proposed that congress refinance Obama’s “Race to the Top” education reform program and fund a $10 billion measure to preserve many teachers’ jobs.

            Obey proposed that congress should cut $500 million from the $4.35 billion Race to the Top fund and another $300 million in other education programs and use it for public schools.

            Ellis Brachman, an Obey spokesman, said that there is a strong threat of enormous public school teacher layoffs. He estimated that 100,000 to 300,000 teachers’ jobs are in danger.  

            "Mr. Obey has said, 'When a ship is sinking, you don't worry about redesigning a room, you worry about keeping it afloat,' " Brachman told The Washington Post.  "He is not opposed to education reform. But he believes that keeping teachers on the job is an important step."

            Many politicians view Obama’s Race to the Top program as a direct attack on teachers. However, the Obama administration said it will continue to fight hard to push the proposal through. Obama’s education reform proposal rewards states with large amounts of funding if teachers meet certain requirements.

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            This proposal added to the debate of federal spending on public schools. Some congress members are lobbying to stretch federal spending as far as possible, extending it to every school to alleviate many schools’ budget cuts. However, others argue that the most innovative states and schools should receive more funding.     

            Obey’s proposal further enhanced the strong debates around Obama’s Race to the Top. Obama’s education reform plan, if passed, could dramatically change America’s public education structure. However, many politicians will continue to poke holes in his plan.