U.S. President Barack Obama hit education themes for a second straight day in campaign appearances Wednesday in Las Vegas, pushing for increased funding.
Obama addressed a crowd at Canyon Springs High School to address elementary and secondary education a day after focusing on funding for higher education.
"We all understand there is nothing more important to our country's future than the education we give our children," Obama said to applause. "Nothing more important."
Obama noted his sister is a teacher and said he knows education begins at home, but government has to do its part, he said, to provide the funding to enable districts to hire and retain great teachers.
"If we want America to lead in the 21st century, we've got to give all our children the best education possible," he said.
Obama triggered a chorus of boos in noting congressional inaction -- led by presumptive Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin -- on legislation that would have helped states hire and retain tens of thousands of teachers.
"Now, not only is that unfair to our kids, it's foolish for our future," He said.
"Now, my opponent in this election doesn't seem to understand this. [Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt] Romney says we've got enough teachers. We don't need any more. The way he talks about them, it seems as if he thinks these are a bunch of nameless government bureaucrats that we need to cut back on -- those are his words. And his economic plan certainly would do that. The plan Governor Romney has put forward would cut America's investment in education by nearly 20 percent" to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy.
Before addressing the crowd, Obama met with a group of three teachers.