Obama praises teachers, calls for more funding

 

President Obama called for additional education funding Thursday during an event honoring the national teacher of the year.

"The people you elect have to make sure that teachers and school districts have the resources you need to do your jobs well," Obama told teachers, families and lawmakers packed into the White House's East Room.

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But the president steered clear of politics for most of his speech, using his time to praise the teaching profession and Sean McComb, the Baltimore County English teacher being honored.

"Teachers who work hard to inspire their kids every day, they too deserve our support," he added. "Because these are our kids."

Obama's budget has called for increased education spending, and last week the administration unveiled plans to regulate teacher preparation programs. The administration hopes to encourage states to better evaluate programs based on hiring, retention and student success.

"It’s been a while since I was in school, but still I remember all the wonderful teachers who made me what I am," Obama said.

The president called teaching "a 24-7 job" and an "all-encompassing commitment."

"What connects them is how they challenge their kids to reach their full potential," he said.