Education chief discusses jobs at Wake Tech
Posted October 25, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. — U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan discussed the challenges facing community colleges and the future of education in America during a town hall meeting at Wake Technical Community College on Tuesday.
Duncan's visit was part of a national tour to promote President Barack Obama's $447 billion jobs proposal, which Duncan said would improve the conditions of public schools and help prevent teacher layoffs.
Duncan told a standing-room only crowd that Obama's bill would provide $5 billion for community college improvements nationwide.
North Carolina's share would be about $163 million. Duncan said some of that money could help Wake Tech finish its new campus, making room for more classes for thousands of students on waiting lists.
"This is the kind of place that we want to support. We want to invest. We want to help you grow. We want this country to get back on its feet economically, and to do that, families have to get back on their feet," Duncan said. "Families get back on their feet by having access to great community colleges, like Wake Tech."
Duncan said Obama's jobs bill includes $60 billion for education. Half of the money would go to pay teachers. The measure failed in the U.S. Senate last week under opposition from Republicans and some Democrats.
North Carolina Republicans criticized Duncan's trip, calling it a political mission and a waste of tax dollars.
Obama came to North Carolina to make the pitch for his American Jobs Act last week, the third time he's visited the state since June.