President Obama is seeking $1.35 billion more to expand his Race to the Top education program. From The Washington Post:

The federal initiative uses the lure of grants to encourage school districts to raise standards, make better use of data to track student achievement, and take more forceful steps to intervene in failing schools.

The $4.35 billion effort was enacted last year as part of the $787 billion economic stimulus plan, marking one of the largest federal expenditures ever on the nation's public schools.

Even though money from the first year of funding is just now moving toward being awarded to states, Obama administration officials credit it with prompting education policy changes in many parts of the country.

States must compete for a slice of the federal money, and the first deadline for applications is Tuesday. The promise of federal money has prodded 11 states to revamp their laws to allow for more charter schools, for new plans to remake failing schools, and to create more incentives to attract better teachers.

The Buzz loves any attempt to improve the nation's school system, though the president may be able to find that additional billion-plus under a rock in Afghanistan or Iraq.