July 24th, 2009
02:27 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama unveils $4.35 billion education stimulus program

 President Obama announced a new round of education stimulus spending on Friday.
President Obama announced a new round of education stimulus spending on Friday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama announced a new round of education stimulus spending Friday, unveiling a $4.35 billion "Race to the Top" fund to be allocated based on academic performance.

The money in the fund will be distributed based on plans by states to address four basic areas: adoption of internationally benchmarked standards; recruiting and retaining quality teachers and principals; building data systems to measure student success; and informing teachers on how to improve their practices and turn around low-performing schools.

States will also be judged on how well they have managed stimulus money they have already received, according to Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

"Discretionary award applications, including for Race to the Top funds, will be available in the coming months, and will ask, among other things, to what extent has a state increased/decreased its education budget (as a percentage of revenue) and what has a state done with the dollars it has received to date," Duncan wrote in a recent letter to Gov. Ed Rendell, D-Pennsylvania.

The letter warns that a state's competitive position to receive the funds may be affected depending on how it meets standards.

The Race to the Top money will be given out in two phases: Applications sent in by later this year will be awarded in early 2010 and those in next spring will be awarded in September 2010.

Donna Cooper, an adviser to Rendell, described the fund as "the catalyst in terms of focusing local school districts in the state on the changes that are necessary to turn around the schools that teach the kids who have the greatest challenges in life."

Over $30 billion in federal education stimulus funds have already been allocated.


Filed under: Education • President Obama
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Active Duty Democrat

    Nice to see money goin to education...

    July 24, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  2. Bedtime for Obonzo

    "[R]ecruiting and retaining quality teachers and principals..." What do you bet that about $4 billion of the $4.35 billion "stimulus" money (remember, paid for by your grandkids) winds up in the pockets of teachers' union members?

    July 24, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  3. universities are a waste of time

    we need job skills, not "well rounded" univerisity classes

    spend our money wisely

    July 24, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  4. phoenix86

    More spending. Can he do nothing else?

    July 24, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  5. chris

    Invest in education, infrastructure... this will help our future! Screw the stock market!

    July 24, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  6. The Constitutionalist

    Mr. President,

    Please see the 10th Amendment.

    Thank you.

    July 24, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  7. Angus McDugan

    Now that the word "trillion" is used in everyday conversation regarding Obama, it is sooooo much easier to drop a few billion here and there without anyone questioning it.

    July 24, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  8. JGB

    Hasn't he figured out he couldn't stimulate a rattle snake on a hot summer day? Quit wasting money we don't have on projects that will do nothing to turn this economy around.

    July 24, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  9. ron

    We repucans doin't need a eduction. Why you want to spnd all that mone, Obmumer.

    July 24, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  10. Right Leaning Independent

    Finally, a worthwhile endeavour! Kudos...

    July 24, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  11. jim

    lets spend some more money we cant pay back, biden is right we may go bankrupt got to spend as much money as we can as fast as we can. wake up people

    July 24, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  12. Gator

    All this money will also be wasted, it will end up funding all kinds of junk programs for under achieving schools. It will also be held over the states heads that they must do what the feds want or they won't get any of it.

    July 24, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  13. J.C.

    How about two-year associative degree programs at community colleges? A college education may not work for everyone. We need to train those that do not want a four-year college education as useful human resources to meet the 21st century challenge. Some college students go to these two-year programs before they transfer to the junior year at a university in order to save tuition money.

    July 24, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  14. yuri

    And what remains to be seen is the issue of which school will scamble for that kind dough, that has strings attached to it all over the place. We guess it's OK to incentivize and hold the reins at the same time to dole out the money in an eq

    July 24, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  15. johnnie

    The hands ON President, iwant to ask cnn a ? , why is it tthere so many different (Headlines) about President Obama ? On AM FIX on CNN yesterday ,Carroll Costello and John Roberts, asked ,is President Obama getting (OVER-EXPOSED) in the (MEDIA) , when President Obama had almost 29 (MILLION VEIWERS) down from 40 millon previously. 4.35 (BILLION) for education ,thats why we watch the President, and he has tackled a (HUGE AGENDA) and is putting education to the (FRONT) of his (AGENDA) for America.We are heading in the (RIGHT DIRECTION) and sooner than later,the (gop) will have to (RUN) for (COVER)......The (Stimulus ) is going to work...

    July 24, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  16. yuri

    And what remains to be seen is the issue of which school will scamble for that kind dough, that has strings attached to it all over the place. We guess it's OK to incentivize and hold the reins at the same time to dole out the money in an equitable manner based on merit.

    July 24, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  17. Chris

    Most of this will simply mean that all teacher will pass all students regardless of their real abilities to do the work and EARN a degree. We can't simplify education down to numbers, there are people who out perform other people. The high performers are the ones we want to focus on, not the ones at the bottom. This is how you get scientists, engineers, doctors instead of a low paid bunch of manual workers.

    July 24, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  18. manny

    please face manufacturing after education, our students can't even attempt external exams of other countries and the teachers here have no control over the students else they sued. crazy ain't it?

    July 24, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  19. Jane

    Gee, where is this money coming from?? There must be a money tree at the white house we don't know about.

    July 24, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    Stop it now!!! If you educate them they'll be harder to convince that yammering about "socialism" and "teabagging" and "secession" is a legitimate way to treat important issues!!!! What are you trying to do, destroy the GOP????

    July 24, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  21. davgirl7

    Why are we americans so fickle! It is so obviuos we have become so selfish and have no cares for our fellow americans unless some huge disaster occurs here in the states. I commend the president! He promised to tackle the most over looked issues here and that is health care, education and the environment. Don't give up Obama! There's still a lot of people who believe you are what we needed! God Bless.

    July 24, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  22. makesUwonder

    Please, no one tell Obama what comes after a trillion.

    July 24, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  23. Steve, Columbia SC

    We've been given an economic stimulus, an auto maker stimulus, a financial services and banking stimulus, now we get an education stimulus. And my personal financial situation isn't any different than it was 1 year ago, or 5 years ago.

    Larry Flint wasn't far off the realm of possibility asking the demoncrats in Congress for a pornography stimulus.

    Stop burning what wealth I have left you fools in Washington.

    July 24, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  24. Michigan mom

    This money will be used to reinstate teachers and other classroom professionals. We just let go a good percentage of fine staff due to fewer students and less money to fund things. We are looking at closing 4 schools next year, and yet, our population is steady to rising here in mid-Michigan. We have eliminated some 9th grade sports, and some other things, too. I would rather see government 'strings' with $$$ attached than Bush's unfunded mandates that left us in this mess.

    July 24, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  25. Susie

    I see a lot of comments straight from Sean Hannity's mouth: "stimulus is a failure' (Dow is above 9000 for the first time since January), 'health care plan bad" (have you read it?) Obama has done nothing: "gee, we have stopped several billion dollars from being wasted on useless planes, we have not bombed Iran or N/ Korea, the stock market is up, home prices are recovering, taxes are down, some jobs are being created, and what did you think? He would fix all the problems instantaneously? All the anti-Obama sentiment boils down to white Republicans not being able to accept an intelligent, well-spoken, calm black man as their President. Period. It wouldn't matter what he did, you would be against him.

    July 24, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
1 2