Obama Touts Education Budget at Va. Community College
President Obama defended his proposed national budget for fiscal 2013 and promoted the importance of job training for a healthy economic recovery on Monday during an appearance at Northern Virginia Community College.
“Employers today are looking for the most skilled, educated workers,” Obama said. “I don’t want them to find them in India or China. I want businesses to find those workers right here, in the United States. The skills and training that employers are looking for begins with the men and women who educate our children.”
Much of the president’s budget builds on his educational policy proposals outlined in his State of the Union address and subsequent speeches. On Monday, he unveiled a proposal that would invest $8 billion in training for American workers through community colleges.
Obama praised portions of the budget that will stop interest rates on some student loans from increasing in July and preserve tuition tax breaks, calling on Congress to approve both. Those measures and others, he said, are keys to bolstering recent signs of job growth and economic recovery.
A separate White House fact sheet outlines a plan to train two million workers for industries that need workers through partnerships with community colleges. The plan also calls for encouragement of domestic investment and bringing jobs back to the United States, an ongoing White House initiative.
During the Virginia appearance, the president stressed connections between the budget and the goals he set during his most recent State of the Union address, in which he defended affordable education and job training. Obama has previously called affordable higher education an “economic imperative.”
Throughout his remarks, Obama stressed the delicacy of the economy and the common interest in promoting a sustained recovery.
“The budget that we’re releasing today is a reflection of shared responsibility,” Obama said. “It says that if we’re serious about investing in our future and investing in community colleges, and investing in new energy technology, and investing in basic research, well, we’ve got to pay for it. And that means we've got to make some choices.”
Obama has visited Northern Virginia Community College several times previously, including to sign the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act in March 2010, a history that he referenced during Monday's appearance.
Jon Christian is a reporter with Campus Progress. Follow him on Twitter @Jon_Christian.
- New Rules for Student-Aid Programs? Here’s What You Need to Know
- Dear Columbia Graduate School of Journalism,
- Despite Obama Veto Threat, Student Loan Bill Passes The House
- Whether You’re A Student, Graduate, Or Neither, These Congressional Decisions Will Affect Your Life
- Med Students Sick From Student Debt Malady