VP Biden visits middle school

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Vice President Joe Biden and Education Secretary Arne Duncan are asking teachers to bring forward new ideas to reform the nation's school system.

At an Orlando middle school Wednesday, Biden credited the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act with saving 26,000 school jobs in Florida.

He said economic recovery is one part of the plan, with a higher goal of coming out of the recession with a better health and education system than before.

The federal recovery plan includes about $100 billion for education. That includes $5 billion in competitive grants to improve education results through reform and new ideas.

Duncan praised Florida for working to close the achievement gap and raise expectations but said the state needs to improve its dropout rate.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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