"Teachers inspire students, fire imaginations, nurture their natural abilities, and encourage them to explore the possibilities of life," he said. "They prepare good students to be good citizens, but they also know better than anyone else they can't do it alone. It's so important for the moms and dads of American to hear."
Foreman, a Vermont high school social studies teacher at Middlebury Union High School, was joined in the Rose Garden by U.S. Department of Education Secretary Rod Paige and 56 other teachers designated as state Teachers of the Year.
"Thank you for the emphasis that you and your administration place on education. We join you in the belief that America's young people are our future and our hope. To be a teacher is to forever be an optimist, for every day, we are in the presence of enormous potential that each child holds," Forman told the president.
Bush made his comments as the U.S. Senate is scheduled to take up his plan for education reform that would return control of programs and curriculum to local jurisdictions, and implement accountability measures that would track student progress.
"This week the United States Senate will begin debate on what's known as S.1, appropriately named because it is my No. 1 priority, it is your No. 1 priority, and it's an education reform proposal." Bush said.
"This is not just about another legislative debate. It's the best opportunity in a generation for having meaningful education reform come out of Washington. And we have an ambitious goal.
More than a week ago, the president sent his education spending package to Capitol Hill. The package would give the U.S. Department of Education an 11. 5 percent funding boost, the largest of any of the Cabinet-level agencies. Under Bush's budget proposal, spending for education would increase to $44.5 billion.
Last week Bush said he had reached a bipartisan agreement with Senate leaders on the "core principles" for an education plan, which calls for the consolidation of federal education programs allowing states to decide how to address their poorly performing schools.
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