President Obama has a new billion dollar idea to improve the US education system: Assemble an elite cadre of teachers, and give them each an extra $20,000 a year to share their techniques and knowledge with other teachers around the country. The administration plans to unveil the so-called "Master Teacher Corps" today, the AP reports. "I'm running to make sure that America has the best education system on earth," Obama said in a speech yesterday. "And that means hiring new teachers."
The program will initially be funded with $100 million from an existing fund intended to reward top-performing teachers, but in the long term, Obama intends to include a $1 billion item for it in his 2013 budget blueprint. Of course, the House and Senate haven't exactly treated the president's budgets as gospel, so it's unclear if the program will stick around long term. GOP Rep. John Kline noted that the government already has more than 80 teacher quality programs. "Republicans share the president's goal," a spokesperson said. "However, we also value transparency and efficient use of taxpayer resources."