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Obama bets $1 billion that teaching is the best job in the world

Disadvantaged schools will compete for $1 billion-worth of government cash in a bid to attract the best teachers in the country.

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President Barack Obama pledged the money as part of his RESPECT: The Best Job in the World grant, which will offer better salaries to teachers to work in and help high-needs schools.

The move is an attempt to break the cycle of the poorest students being “trapped in school schools that suffer from years of inadequate support, a lack of resources and poor working conditions for educators”.

The program will offer competitive grants of up to $250 million to states to support teacher-led initiatives that aim to improve the chances of the country’s most disadvantaged students.

According to the Department of Education, the grants could be used to:

• Create meaningful advancement opportunities, including significantly increasing salaries for effective teachers in high-needs schools;

• Provide "teacher time banks" to provide teachers flexibility to engage in worthwhile professional development;

• Dramatically improve working conditions by improving school climates focusing on staff morale or reducing class sizes.

"Supporting our nation's educators and elevating the teaching profession are top priorities for me. Taking on the responsibility of teaching our highest-needs students should be celebrated and recognized," acting education secretary John B. King Jr, said.

"We must do all we can to make the job of teaching in a school serving high-needs students is a position that teachers aspire to and work toward."

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