President Obama reveals education budget plan

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) -- President Obama said he wants to improve education at every grade level from early childhood through college.

He’s calling for $150 million to connect high school coursework to real world experiences.

La Crosse School District superintendent Randy Nelson said one way districts can provide students with real world experience is by partnering with area businesses and organizations.

“I think it’s a duo-fold responsibility that we have as a community, and as adults to provide these opportunities for students,” said Nelson.

President Obama’s budget proposal includes $300 million for a new Race to the Top program.

The Race to the Top program would provide incentives for states and districts that work to close achievement and opportunity gaps by attracting and maintaining effective teachers.

The President’s budget proposes $200 million to integrate technology into the classroom.
The President also wants 99% of students to have high speed broadband in their schools within 5 years.

“Technology and the face to face have to come together, and by result of that it’s important that what we have is up to date. It’s important that we have the broadband that we need for students to be connected,” said Nelson.

The President’s proposal includes a program offering annual grants to colleges based on the number of students who graduate on time, and receive Pell Grants, which are for low and moderate income students.

That would account for a ten-year cost of $7 billion.

UW-L chancellor Joe Gow said he hopes Congress will take a good look at the President’s plan.

“Education tends to get pushed down the priority list, so I think it’s wonderful that the President is putting this front and center,” said Gow.

The President’s plan calls for $4 billion in funds especially for low income students to support, reform and improve public higher education systems.

As well as $100 million dollars that would support ways to make college more affordable.

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