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Obama proposes $1 billion math and science teaching corps

The Obama administration has unveiled plans to create an elite corps of master teachers. The administration hopes Congress will help their $1 billion idea to boost the achievement of U.S. students in science, technology, engineering and math, become a reality. NBC's Kristen Welker reports.    

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.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said he hopes politics won’t interfere.

"This initiative has nothing to do with politics," Duncan said, according to The Associated Press. "It's absolutely in our country's best long-term economic interest to do a much better job in this area."

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