President Barack Obama says teachers and students are suffering from cuts in U.S. state budgets, and he says his Republican opponent's plans to reduce government spending would hurt them more.
Obama told a campaign rally in the western city of Las Vegas, Nevada Wednesday that fewer teachers are returning to public schools, which has increased class sizes for students. The president blamed Republicans in Congress, including Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, for blocking a jobs bill that would have helped states avoid additional teacher layoffs.
He said the Republican cuts to funding for education are "unfair to our kids" and "foolish for our future."
Republican Ryan told voters in the eastern state of Virginia Wednesday that the U.S. needs a strong education system that is "parent controlled" and focused on "skills." He cited other steps that he and his running mate, presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, are proposing to strengthen the middle class. Those include controlling the nation's debt and using domestic energy resources.
Ryan accused Mr. Obama of "raiding" hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicare, the government's health care program for older Americans, to fund the president's health care program.
Republicans will formally nominate Romney and Ryan next week at the party's national convention in the southern city of Tampa, Florida. Recent figures show Romney's campaign with a huge fundraising advantage over President Obama.
A new poll published Tuesday shows the candidates in a statistical dead heat. The poll, conducted jointly by the Associated Press and the GfK market research company, found that 47 percent of registered voters plan to vote for President Obama on November 6, while 46 percent plan to vote for Romney.
The results from another poll, conducted jointly by the Wall Street Journal and NBC, show Obama leading by 48-44 percent.