Obama Plans National Teachers Corps to Promote Math, Science

President Barack Obama today will propose a national “teachers corps” to reward the nation’s best educators in science, technology, engineering and math.

In the first year, as many as 2,500 teachers in those subjects would get $20,000 stipends on top of their base salaries in exchange for a multiyear commitment to the corps, White House spokeswoman Sandra Abrevaya said.

The White House plans to expand the group to 10,000 teachers nationwide over four years. The program would be funded initially with $1 billion from the administration’s fiscal year 2013 budget request, which is subject to approval by Congress.

“If America is going to compete for the jobs and industries of tomorrow, we need to make sure our children are getting the best education possible,” Obama said in the statement. “Teachers matter, and great teachers deserve our support.”

As part of his campaign for a second term, Obama is vowing to maintain funding for programs in education and accusing Republicans of supporting a tax and spending agenda that would mean cuts.

Incentive Fund

The administration also is designating about $100 million from an existing teacher incentive fund to help school districts identify and develop teachers of the sciences. More than 30 school districts have signaled their interest in the program. The application deadline is July 27.

The goal is to better compensate “highly effective teachers who can model and mentor” science, technology, engineering and math instruction, and also better equip students with the knowledge and skills “necessary for jobs in the high-growth fields that fuel American innovation,” according to the statement.

The initiatives were part of a package of recommendations from the president’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, which urged the government to establish a teacher corps and retain the most talented instructors to strengthen that branch of education in U.S. public schools.

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