Supporting teachers and students

  • In his State of the Union address, President Obama challenged schools and states to keep good teachers on the job and keep students in school until they graduate or turn 18.

  • The Obama administration also fought to save the jobs of hundreds of thousands of educators across the country. The Recovery Act supported roughly 300,000 education jobs, and in 2010 President Obama helped school districts prevent 161,000 teacher and school staff layoffs.

Reforming No Child Left Behind

To give states the flexibility to use local solutions to improve their schools, and in the face of congressional inaction, President Obama acted to offer states relief from No Child Left Behind mandates.

Race to the Top: Partnering with states to raise standards

  • The administration implemented the Race to the Top program, which rewards states for making tough reforms—raising standards, helping teachers improve, and turning around struggling schools.

  • Since 2010, the administration has awarded Race to the Top grants, including Early Learning Challenge grants, to 21 states and the District of Columbia, which serve 65 percent of the nation’s children and 59 percent of all low-income students in the country. Overall, the Race to the Top competition has encouraged states to adopt a high-quality framework of educational standards—and 46 states have already adopted the reforms.

Post 9/11 G.I. Bill

Fact: President Obama signed into law an update to the post-9/11 G.I. Bill, which makes it easier for National Guard members who performed active service to qualify for benefits, and allows for education benefits to be transferred to family members.

Putting affordable education within reach

President Obama is helping millions of students pay for college by reforming the student loan system and investing in students. Since taking office, the President:

  • Doubled investment in Pell Grants to help nearly 10 million students and their families pay for college
  • Created and extended the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which gives students and their families up to $10,000 over four years of college
  • Capped income-based federal student loan payments at 10% of monthly income, which will help more than 1.6 million students manage their monthly payments and pursue the career of their dreams
  • Launched Race to the Top, which has spurred 46 states to raise their standards for teaching and learning in K-12 schools, helping to prepare students for success in college and the workplace
  • Supported nearly 400,000 educator jobs in schools across the country through the Recovery Act
  • Expanded access to Head Start and Early Head Start to 64,000 more children and families

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would give tax breaks to millionaires but say we need fewer teachers, and they would abandon a national commitment to improving our lowest-performing schools. They would let schools lay off teachers and pack more kids into fewer classrooms, and support policies that would make college more expensive for students— just like Romney did as governor of Massachusetts. Romney even opposes reducing class sizes, rejecting what parents and teachers know to be best for their children.