Let's face it. School teachers don't make enough money or get enough respect. But now the Obama Administration is asking Congress for $5 billion to address the money problem, while turning teaching into one of America's most respected profession.
If approved, the funding will be used to launch Obama's proposed Project RESPECT, Recognizing Educational Success, Professional Excellence and Collaborative Teaching.
According to Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Project RESPECT will challenge everyone involved in all levels of education to completely reform the field of teaching from training and tenure to compensation and career opportunities.
"Our goal is to work with teachers and principals in rebuilding their profession and to elevate the teacher voice in federal, state and local education policy," said Duncan in a press release. "Our larger goal is to make teaching not only America's most important profession, but also America's most respected profession."
The $5 billion for Project RESPECT is part of the total $69.8 billion requested for the Department of Education by President Obama in his $1.3 trillion FY 2013 budget request, referred to as "An Economy Built to Last" by the White House.
Also See: What is the President's Budget Proposal?
Including Project RESPECT, Obama's 2013 budget proposal seeks almost $8 billion to fund programs the White House says will help attract, prepare, support, and reward great teachers.
Depending on how much, if any of the requested $5 billion for Project RESPECT is approved by Congress, the program will focus on a wide range of teaching career reforms, including making salaries more competitive, rewarding performance, creating new career ladders for teachers and reforming tenure rules to protect good teachers.
According to Secretary Duncan, Project RESPECT would build on President Obama's State of the Union address in which he said: "Give schools the resources to keep good teachers on the job, and reward the best ones. In return, grant schools flexibility to teach with creativity and passion; to stop teaching to the test; and to replace teachers who just aren't helping kids learn. That's a bargain worth making."
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