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Obama pushes federal education spending

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • President Obama argues more spending on education is a critical investment in the future
  • Obama's proposed budget for next year includes a substantial increase in education spending
  • Republicans are seeking to reduce the federal government's role in education

Hillsboro, Oregon (CNN) -- President Barack Obama renewed his push Friday for more education funding despite the federal government's growing fiscal crisis, arguing that the investment is needed to ensure America's global competitiveness.

We need to be fiscally responsible, but "can't sacrifice investments in our future," he told an audience of Intel Corp. workers in Oregon. America needs to "out-build, out-educate, and out-hustle the rest of the world."

The president bemoaned the country's standing relative to other countries in students' math and science test scores.

"We can't win the future if we lose the race to educate our children," he said. The country's commitment to education "is what will determine whether the American dream survives."

Obama's proposed budget for fiscal year 2012 includes an 11 percent hike in federal education spending, to more than $77 billion. Republican congressional leaders are seeking to reduce federal spending on education, with many arguing it should be primarily a state and local concern.

Among other things, the administration has made a pledge to prepare an additional 100,000 science, technology, math, and engineering teachers by the end of the decade. The White House also is pushing to make permanent the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which is worth up to $10,000 for four years of college.

Intel CEO Paul Otellini was named Friday to Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, which is designed in part to advise the president on economic growth strategies.