The Obama administration announced Wednesday morning plans to develop a national science, technology, engineering and math teaching corps – pending a $1 billion commitment from Congress.
The STEM Master Teacher Corps, as it would be called formally, would start with selected 50 teachers and expand to 10,000 in four years, according to a statement from the White House. In exchange for modeling STEM education and mentoring their peers, those teachers would receive a $20,000 annual bonus.
"If America is going to compete for the jobs and industries of tomorrow, we need to make sure our children are getting the best education possible,” President Obama said in a statement.
The president intends to give $100 million of the existing Teacher Incentive Fund to school districts to develop plans to "identify, develop and leverage highly effective STEM teachers," the statement said. The application for this money is July 27 and 30 school districts have said they are interested.
STEM Master Teacher Corps would be located at 50 sites around the country. Obama says he wants to prepare 100,000 more STEM teachers in the next decade.
Democrats tried to secure funding for a similar program last year, but the proposal didn’t reach either the House or Senate floors.
In a conference call about the proposal, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said he hopes politics won’t interfere.
"If folks if folks can agree on anything I can't think of a better place for bipartisan cooperation, than a teachers-helping-teachers program, Duncan said.