DAYTON, Ohio (AP) Barack Obama is promising to double funding for charter schools and replace inferior teachers, embracing education reform proposals normally more popular with Republican candidates.
The Democratic presidential nominee says both parties must work together to improve education, according to remarks prepared for delivery Tuesday at a suburban high school gymnasium. The pitch was an appeal to moderate voters in this presidential election swing state, where the fight over education reform has been the focus of a longtime partisan battle.
"There's partisanship and there's bickering, but there's no understanding that both sides have good ideas that we'll need to implement if we hope to make the changes our children need," Obama said in excerpts provided by his campaign before the speech. "And we've fallen further and further behind as a result. If we're going to make a real and lasting difference for our future, we have to be willing to move beyond the old arguments of left and right and take meaningful, practical steps to build an education system worthy of our children and our future."
The federal government spends about $200 million a year on charter schools, privately run institutions that receive public money. Obama's proposal would take that up to over $400 million.