President Obama today pressed for passage of an updated version of the No Child Left Behind educational initiative.
As part of a series of speeches on education, he spoke at Kenmore Middle School in Arlington, VA where he asked Congress to deliver an education bill before September and cautioned against cutting education spending.
The President said the Bush-era education reform bill, No Child Left Behind, is failing to meet expectations and needs to be "fixed."
The president repeated statistics first made by Education Secretary Arne Duncan during Congressional testimony last week that up to 82% percent of schools could be labeled failing.
He also said education improvement must be a national priority.
“We cannot cut education. We cannot cut the things that will make America more competitive," Obama said.
The Obama administration has proposed $94.3 billion for the education budget for fiscal year 2012. Searching for budget cuts, the Republican's budget proposal for the remainder of 2011 would cut Title 1 education funding for low-income students by $694 million, Head Start by $1 billion and Pell Grants by $5.6 billion.
Last Tuesday he visited TechBoston, a school in a working-class Boston neighborhood that has enhanced its partnerships with private entities, to highlight public-private education models. During that visit he also warned Congress that cutting education funding would inhibit national and individual economic prosperity.
Also also last week, the President and the First Lady unveiled an initiative against bullying in schools.