Updated 01/27/2011 06:04 AM
Obama talks education in State of the Union address
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- President Barack Obama said, "In fact, to every young person listening tonight who's contemplating their career choice, if you want to make a difference in the life of our nation, if you want to make a difference in the life of a child, become a teacher. Your country needs you."
Education was a top priority in President Obama's second State of the Union address. But with talks of New York State laying off 15,000 teachers, some are saying why become an educator?
NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira said, "A mixed message though, come become a teacher, but we're going to have no jobs. It's a mixed message from my perspective."
But NYSUT officials say they are on board with the President's overall message of improving and investing in education to help solidify our country's economic future.
Neira said, "This is really a President who understands the importance of education. He said all the things NYSUT has been saying for the last year and half."
Obama called to replace No Child Left Behind and touted his Race To The Top initiative, rewarding states and schools that are willing to change the way they teach. New York has already benefited from the plan, collecting nearly $700 million last year for enacting reforms.
Dr. Maggie Kirwin, the dean of education at the College of St. Rose, said, "I'm really very happy the State of the Union included something significant about education. I'm very happy about the national dialogue for education and I'm very happy Obama wants to put money behind education."
As many states including New York continue to deal with budget cuts and high unemployment rates, Obama still has high hopes for the future of our country.
President Obama said, "We will reach that goal I set two years ago. By the end of the decade, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world."
And during his address, Obama also urged Congress to approve a permanent college tuition tax credit worth $10,000 for four years.