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President Obama Wants Additional Funding For Education Grants

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By Kavitha Cardoza

President Obama announced he'll ask Congress for more than $1 billion in additional funding to extend an education grant program. He made the announcement at Graham Road Elementary School in Falls Church, Virginia.

Sixth graders Annie Thatch and Tessa Bowles say they were excited and nervous when President Obama walked into the room.

"I was like 'oh my gosh'! I was actually so nervous when he shook my hand I couldn't get the question out of my mouth," says one.

Lydia Seyoum says he also talked about why school was so important.

"He told us it was important to stick to our education so we could have a better future," she says.

The $4 billion Race To The Top grants are meant to encourage states to improve education through different methods, including collecting data on how well students are doing in school, linking teacher performance with student scores and creating more charter schools. If the additional money is approved, local school districts will be able to compete as well.

D.C. and Virginia, along with 29 other states, have applied for a portion of the money. Maryland will apply during the second round in April.

The U.S. Department of Education says the process will be extremely competitive and not all states who apply will receive funding.

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