WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is encouraging students to work hard in their classes, saying the country is counting on them.
Obama is scheduled to speak Wednesday afternoon at Washington's Benjamin Banneker Academic High School. His back-to-school address will be televised live and carried online.
In his prepared remarks, Obama urges students to pursue an education after high school and says that in tough economic times, the country needs their ideas and passion.
Obama is telling students that, in his words, "whether we fall behind or race ahead in the coming years is up to you."
The White House released the text of the president's message the night before his speech to defuse any potential charges that he would be giving a political speech to the nation's schoolchildren.
© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.