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$250M initiative to train math, science teachers

President Barack Obama is beginning at $250 million

President Barack Obama is beginning at $250 million initiative to train teachers for math and science. (January 2010) Credit: AP

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama is announcing a $250 million initiative Wednesday to train math and science teachers in an effort to reach his administration's goal of moving American students from the middle to the top of the pack in those subjects over the next decade.

"The quality of math and science teachers is the most important single factor influencing whether students will succeed or fail in science, technology, engineering and math," Obama said in a statement. The money will help prepare 10,000 new teachers and train 100,000 more, the administration said.

During a White House event, Obama will also honor 100 math and science teachers from around the country for their excellence in the classroom.

Through the "Educate to Innovate" campaign, the government will work with major companies and universities to recruit and train teachers. The White House has said a substantial vacancy exists in the so-called STEM field: science, technology, engineering and math. Up to 1 million new teachers will be need to be recruited over the next five years to fill the gap, the White House said.

The administration's progress so far includes setting aside $5 billion in federal grants for states willing to undertake a top-to-bottom overhaul of their schools in support of Obama's education priorities.

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