Kerry pledges $30 billion for teachers

May 07, 2004|By KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE

COLTON, Calif. - Continuing his focus on education, Sen. John Kerry said yesterday that he would raise teacher salaries and provide them with better training in return for holding them to higher standards to improve public schools.

To achieve this, the Massachusetts Democrat promised a $30 billion investment over 10 years that would be paid for by repealing President Bush's tax cuts for Americans earning $200,000 or more.

"Children and schools together have been abandoned by misplaced priorities," Kerry said at a school near San Bernardino. "And teachers ... have been abandoned by the generals."

Kerry has introduced parts of his plan before, including a teacher corps for inner-city schools that would pay the tuition of college students who pledged to teach for at least four years in schools where many are reluctant to work.

He expanded that yesterday to include awards of up to $5,000 to teachers who increase student achievement or make other improvements, and give a $5,000 minimum bonus to those who teach math and science or work in poorer schools.

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