Obama says "Become a Teacher", Others say there's a surplus

By KBJR News 1

Obama says "Become a Teacher", Others say there's a surplus

January 26, 2011 Updated Jan 27, 2011 at 11:49 AM CDT

DULUTH, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - President Obama made some remarks about education in his State of the Union address that left some teachers puzzled.

While school districts around the nation, and here in Minnesota are cutting teachers, President Obama is calling for more.

"Become a teacher. Your country needs you," Obama said.

Others say, maybe not right now.

"We're at a time when we have a surplus of teachers and teachers are being laid off," said Frank Warren, president of the Duluth Federation of Teachers.

Duluth is no exception. The district is looking to cut up to $7.3 million dollars from their next school year's budget - and considering offering incentives for teachers to retire to minimize lay-offs.

Both teachers and Obama agree, we need more investment in education from families, the community and legislators.

"Cutting the deficit by gutting our investments in innovation and education is like lightening an overloaded airplane by removing its engine," Obama said in his address to the nation.

"We need to invest in education, just having more teachers isn't the answer and just saying we need to have better teachers isn't the answer," said Warren.

The issue is where could funding come from. Minnesota has already borrowed heavily from schools and may lower the annual funding.

The union leader says one teacher told him they didn't even have any funding forsupplies for an art class.

"How can that possibly be, in this country," said Warren.

Posted to Web by Jena Pike