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President Obama’s FY 2011 budget makes education a priority

Proposed budget demonstrates strong commitment to education and the future

WASHINGTON - February 03, 2010 -

President Barack Obama today released his budget proposal for fiscal year 2011. It includes a more than seven percent increase in funding for education.

The following statement can be attributed to National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel:

“We are encouraged that President Obama’s budget includes a significant increase in funding for education.  His budget reflects his understanding that education fuels success—for our students and for our nation as well. We are especially encouraged that despite the serious economic challenges we currently face, the President remains steadfast in his commitment to our students and the future of our country. 

“While we are continuing to carefully review the details of the President’s budget, we applaud the apparent emphasis on developing systems to strengthen and improve education from early childhood to college.  For example, the President is taking steps to strengthen and expand early childhood education. We applaud the $989 million increase in funding for Head Start and Early Head Start and the increased investment in programs that serve the needs of diverse students. 

“The President’s plan includes a proposal to end student lending subsidies to banks and shift the savings to programs that make college accessible for more Americans. It also includes more money for the Pell Grant program, which will help more students pay for college, and increased funding to revitalize community colleges, which would help make college accessible to more Americans. We enthusiastically embrace the President’s goal to once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020. 

“NEA supports elements in the President’s budget to reform education in America and bring about change that works to benefit students. We applaud innovation in education as long as it helps to improve student success.  We look forward to continued collaboration with the administration to build a system of accountability that really prepares students for college and 21st century careers.

“All in all, President Obama’s proposed 2011 budget bodes well for education.  Even in these tough economic times, it is clear that the president is unwilling to sacrifice the future of our children and our nation. He said in his State of the Union address that a world class education is the best anti-poverty program available and he demonstrates the depth of that belief with an increase in education spending.  We are committed to working with the president to move forward an agenda that focuses on innovation in education and programs that make a world class education possible for all of America’s students.” 

To listen to comments from NEA Vice President Lily Eskelsen, press play below:

Listen to an interview with NEA Vice President Lily Eskelsen on the proposed federal budget


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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional organization, representing
3.2  million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: René Carter  (202)822-7823,