Obama: $900 million to turn around the ‘dropout crisis’

President Obama touted a $900 million school grant program today designed to improve low-performing schools, particularly those with high dropout rates.

“Over 1 million students don’t finish high school each year,” Obama said during an education event at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, adding that most dropouts are in the African-American and Latino communities.

There may have been a time when kids could leave school and still get a good enough blue collar job to pay the bills, Obama said, but: “That’s just not the case anymore.”

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Pictured:  MARCH 01: U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during an America’s Promise Alliance event at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce March 1, 2010 in Washington, DC. Obama spoke on the administration’s effort to improve the nation’s schools. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images).