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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Obama on education



Img_9550_4 Presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., stopped by the Cuban Club in Tampa today and delivered a stump speech that roused the 2,000 people who came out to listen. He voiced support for early education initiatives and suggested that No Child Left Behind could use some help. Here's what he had to say:

"You know what the challenges are. We’ve been talking about them for years. A health care system that's broken, that's bankrupting families and bankrupting our government. An education system that, no matter what the slogan says, is leaving too many children behind and isn't preparing our kids to compete in the new global economy. We’ve got an economy that's never been more profitable, never been more productive. And yet for ordinary folks who don’t work on Wall Street, they are still living from paycheck to paycheck, struggling to pay the health care bills, struggling to save for the college tuition of their children ....

We know what the problems are. ... The American people are standing up and saying enough is enough, it's time to turn the page it's time for something new. A new breeze is blowing. ... A fresh wind is coming through. That's what makes me feel optimistic. When the American people start standing up, we can solve these problems that we face. ... We know for example that if we provide health care to every child, then they will get regular checkups instead of going to the emergency room for treatable illnesses like asthma, and that in fact will save us money. ...

We know what works with education. Frank Sanchez, I was talking to his mother, she was the first grant writer for a Head Start program in the country. ... Right here in Tampa. She knew then what every study has shown subsequently. You invest $1 in early childhood education you will get $7 back in reduced delinquency rates and reduced dropout rates and reduced prison rates and young people will succeed and go to college and pay taxes. We know what to do. We know that instead of leaving the money behind for No Child Left Behind that the federal government should have been helping local governments to pay their teachers more. To give them more flexibility in the classroom. Teachers will be happy to be held accountable if they are given what they need to teach."

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:16am]


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