President Obama will continue to push his $447 billion jobs plan Tuesday when he travels to Columbus, Ohio, to highlight a proposed $30 billion investment to modernize schools and hire and retain teachers.
Obama picked the home state of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to make the second stop on his jobs tour, four days after visiting Richmond, Va., the home district of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R).
In Columbus, Obama is scheduled to tour Fort Hayes Arts and Academic High School, which Obama aides said is wrapping up a multimillion-dollar modernization project.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan said the administration’s jobs package includes funding to renovate up to 35,000 public schools across the nation. The money would be given to state and local governments, which would decide which schools to upgrade, he added.
“Cash-strapped school districts face a $270 billion backlog in repairs,” Duncan said on a conference call with reporters Monday. “The poorest school districts face crumbling ceilings and the buildings lack basic wiring for computer labs. . . . This is not a partisan issue. The physical conditions are simply shameful. It’s no place for children to learn.”
Since unveiling the jobs package in a speech to Congress on Thursday, Obama has launched a concentrated public relations campaign to win public support. He visited the University of Richmond on Friday, where he rallied students to help him convince Congress to pass his 155-page American Jobs Act.
On Monday, the president appeared in the Rose Garden with more than a dozen workers who he said would be affected by the legislation. Later, aides revealed for the first time that Obama was proposing to pay for the plan largely through raising taxes on higer-income families, provoking backlash from Republicans.
On Wednesday, Obama will visit a small manufacturing business in Apex, N.C., which his office said would benefit from the jobs act. He also will make remarks before students at North Carolina State University.