School buses in Fairfax County, Va.
School buses in Fairfax County, Va. - 
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Bill Radke: School doesn't start for a few more weeks, but our president is sharpening his pencils. Today the White House is expected to announce competition for a whole lot of new money for schools, as Marketplace's Alisa Roth reports.

Alisa Roth: States will be able to compete for more than $4 billion in grants. But the money will only go to states that have taken clear steps toward reforming the education system. The administration's hoping that cash incentives will help encourage those reforms, because schools have been forced to cut back in all kinds of areas.

Christopher Swanson directs the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center. He says a few years ago, this kind of proposal might have been ignored, but lately a lot of states have already starting making the kinds of changes Obama's looking for -- which should help.

Christopher Swanson: Given kind of the movement that states have already been making themselves over recent years, plus you know, honestly, the economic situation, I think it's going to get a serious hearing.

Two of the biggest changes Obama's pushing are tying teacher pay to student performance and trying to create common academic standards. Teachers' unions oppose any attempts to consider how students do when calculating teacher pay. The money will be distributed this year and next.

In New York, I'm Alisa Roth for Marketplace.