Obama Announces $1 Billion to Hire Math, Science Teachers
Plan does not mention strategy to increase teacher diversity
The Obama administration announced plans Wednesday to create a highly skilled pool of master science and math teachers to boost U.S. student achievement.
The program, dubbed the Master Teacher Corps, will select and reward high-performing teachers with salary stipends, the Associated Press reports.
The program will begin with 50 teachers in 50 sites and expand to 10,000 over 4 years. The announcement is part of an effort by President Barack Obama to close the achievement gap between American students and their international competitors.
[ALSO READ: Is Obama's Birth Certificate Fake?]
"I'm running to make sure that America has the best education system on earth, from pre-K all the way to post-graduate," Obama said. "And that means hiring new teachers, especially in math and science."
While Congress in February voted down a budget that would have provided the $1 billion for the president’s program, Education Department Sec. Arne Duncan said he expected both parties to come together on this particular issue. In a statement announcing the program, the administration said it would immediately dedicate $100 million to a program already training math and science teachers.
The plan does not include details of how the administration plans to increase diversity among the math and science teachers.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, minority students made up 40.7 percent of the public school populations, while black and Latino teachers made up only 14.6 percent of the teaching workforce in 2011.