Obama Preaches Value of Education to Governors

Speech seen as message to tight-pursed GOP governors
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 27, 2012 2:27 PM CST
President Barack Obama addresses the members of the National Governors Association in the State Dining Room of the White House February 27, 2012.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – President Obama today urged the nation's governors to invest more state resources in education, saying that a highly skilled workforce is crucial for the US to remain competitive with other countries. "The fact is that too many states are making cuts in education that I think are simply too big," Obama said at his annual meeting with governors today. "Nothing more clearly signals what you value as a state than the decisions you make about where to invest. Budgets are about choices."

Obama urged governors to make education compulsory until age 18, and to maintain funding for public colleges, but said he favored a state-centric approach to education. It was a message directed largely to Republican governors, many of whom have complained of too much federal intrusion in state matters including education. It could also be seen as a tacit rebuke of Rick Santorum, who recently called Obama a "snob" for backing higher education for all Americans. Yet some of Obama's fiercest critics emerged from the meeting saying they agreed with his views. "We're going to implement basically the things he talked about," Jan Brewer said. "That is one area we agree on." (Read more Barack Obama stories.)

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