The White House on Wednesday unveiled a proposal to create a national elite teachers corps that would celebrate the achievements of the nation’s top educators in science, technology, engineering, and math, Bloomberg reports.
The 50 top teachers in each field selected for the Master Teacher Corps would receive a stipend of $20,000 added on to their salaries and must commit for multiple years. The Obama administration plans to expand the corps to 10,000 over the next four years, with the ultimate goal that the elite group of teachers will pass their knowledge and skills on to their colleagues to help bolster the quality of teaching nationwide.
On the campaign trail, President Obama has pledged to protect and expand funding for education programs, particularly in science and math, and charges that Mitt Romney’s tax and spending plan would mean inevitable cuts in the field, the Associated Press notes.
Already, the administration has earmarked $100,000 for the program out of an existing fund to incentivize quality teaching, and plans to include $1 billion for funding the initiative in the 2013 annual budget request to Congress.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan hopes that the initiative will receive bipartisan support, saying it has "nothing to do with politics"—but House Republicans may not be so easily convinced. Republican Rep. John Kline, chairman of the House Education and the Workplace Committee, pointed out to the AP that there are already more than 80 quality teacher programs supported by the federal government.