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President Obama Talks With Students, Raises Money For Dems

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Melinda Gates and President Obama speak with students while touring TechBoston Academy in Dorchester. (credit: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Melinda Gates and President Obama speak with students while touring TechBoston Academy in Dorchester. (credit: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

BOSTON (CBS/AP) – President Obama spoke to a crowd at Dorchester’s TechBoston Academy Tuesday telling them he doesn’t want lawmakers to cut back on job-creating investments like education.

“There’s nothing responsible about cutting back on our investment in these young people,” said the President.

During his visit to Boston, which also included a fundraising dinner at the Museum of Fine Arts, President Obama issued a not-too-veiled warning at Republican budget cutters and characterized any reductions in money for education as irresponsible and harmful to the long-term health of the nation’s economy.

Photo Gallery: President Obama’s Boston Visit

In his most vigorous defense yet of his education spending proposals, Obama conceded that after years of deficits, the government needed to embrace fiscal discipline. And in a restrained speech to Democratic donors, he cautioned the partisan crowd not to equate compromise with failure.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Doug Cope reports.

“Not everything is a fight, not everything has to be a battle to the death,” he later said to top-dollar contributors as they ate, surrounded by Renaissance paintings at MFA.

WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong reports.

The President was joined by philanthropist Melinda Gates in the latest stop on his month-long push for an education agenda aimed at garnering bipartisan support for more flexibility and accountability for teachers, and more innovative standards for students.

Read: Excitement, Disappointment Ahead Of Obama Visit

TechBoston Academy, a grades 6-12 pilot school within the Boston school district, opened in 2002 with money from a foundation headed by Gates and her husband, Bill Gates, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft. The school represents the combined effort of government, businesses, philanthropists and communities. The school integrates technology in all its academic courses and relies on partnerships with a series of high-tech business partners, including Cisco Systems, Microsoft, IBM and Google.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports.

In choosing TechBoston, the White House sought to showcase a school in a working-class neighborhood that had turned around its graduation rate thanks to new flexibility for its leaders and plenty of help from private foundations.

“Fixing our schools will cost some money,” Mr. Obama said. “Recruiting and rewarding the best teachers costs money. Making it possible for families to send their kids to college costs money. Making sure that some of the state of the art equipment all of you are working on … that costs money.”

Later in the day the fundraising dinner raised $1 million and cost a minimum $5,000 per seat. Dinner, a VIP reception and participation in a photo line with the president cost $30,800 per person or $50,000 per couple, according to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports.

At the museum, but before the dinner, the President got a chance to meet with members of the Boston Celtics.

Celtics co-owner and managing partner Stephen Pagliuca said afterward, “We were thrilled to visit with the President. He spoke about the Boston Celtics unselfish play and teamwork. It was inspiring for us to hear those words and we told the President we hope to see him in the White House in the fall after the NBA Finals.”

WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager reports.

The president landed at Logan Airport on Air Force One around 2:30 p.m. and left again around 7:30 p.m.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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