President Barack Obama will highlight his commitment to education reform in his State of the Union address Wednesday, highlighted by a 6.2 percent increase for the Department of Education, a senior administration official tells CBS News correspondent Peter Maer.
The president will also tout his plan to improve outcomes for students at every point along the educational pipeline, the senior administration official said.
Despite the increased funding, the budget will reflect tough choices and many existing K-12 education programs will be consolidated, the official said.
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The boost in education funding may be part of the president's attempt to soothe middle class anger over the economy. As Maer reports, the past few days have seen Mr. Obama pivot from an emphasis on health care reform to a razor sharp focus on jobs and the concerns of the middle class. He will use his speech to elaborate on modest initiatives for the middle class including proposals to double the child care tax credit and an effort to cap student loan payments.
However, Maer adds, the White House has also set the stage for the president to announce a budget freeze on some domestic programs. State of the Union followers should monitor the congressional response to that idea. Many lawmakers, especially those up for re-election are likely reluctant to sign on to cutting some of their favorite programs.