President Barack Obama is calling on Congress to restore K-12 education funds cut under a Senate stimulus plan, the Washington Post reports.
His comments came during a town hall meeting in Elkhart, IN, in which the President urged lawmakers to act quickly to pass a stimulus plan. About 1,700 people packed into a high school gym heard President Obama say education will play a central role in any economic recovery.
The Senate is reportedly considering passage of an $827 billion stimulus plan that calls for more tax cuts and less government spending (read more here) than legislation that passed in the House.
According to the Post report, President Obama didn't specify how much K-12 funding should be restored, but many believe the president was referring to nearly $14 billion in school construction funds included in the House's version of the stimulus.
A White House document detailing the stimulus' impact on Indiana included a line item for “sufficient funding to modernize at least 176 schools in Indiana so our children have the labs, classrooms and libraries they need to compete in a 21st Century economy."
So, while President Obama didn't outright advocate for school construction funding, the idea that his White House staff includes money for school construction confirms that spending on K-12 infrastructure is a priority for the Obama Administration.
Open Forum will keep you updated as we learn more.