In his State of the Union address tonight, President Obama will focus on jobs, with proposals aimed at improving small-business hiring, White House officials say.
The president will push for a tax credit for small business new hires, the elimination of capital-gains taxes for small business investments, and an extension of tax cuts and credits for the purchase of new equipment or facilities. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Small Business Administrator Karen Mills will be the point people for the new proposals.
President Obama will also highlight his commitment to education reform "including his plan to improve outcomes for students at every point along the educational pipeline," an official says.
Some education programs in the budget will be consolidated but overall there will be a 6.2% increase in funding for the Department of Education, including an additional $1.35 billion for the Race to the Top program, to be expanded with a separate competition for school districts.
It also includes plans to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that encourages states to adopt more challenging and relevant standards for learning, to issue assessments that better measure the strengths and needs of students, to improve accountability by rewarding high-performing schools and districts, and to support charter schools.