Obama outlines affordable education plan in Buffalo, Syracuse

By Erika Mahoney

August 22, 2013 Updated Aug 23, 2013 at 12:18 AM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) President Barack Obama embarked Thursday on his two-day bus tour through New York and Pennsylvania.

He landed in Buffalo around 10:15 a.m. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his three daughters, plus Mayor Byron Brown and Congressman Brian Higgins, welcomed him off Air Force One.

Around 11 a.m., Obama arrived at the University at Buffalo.

He addressed a packed auditorium and detailed his plan to make higher education more affordable.

"We are going to deliver on a promise we made last year, which is colleges that keep their tuition down, and are providing high quality education, are the ones that are going to see their taxpayer funding go up," Obama said. "It is time to stop subsidizing schools that are not producing good results and reward schools that deliver for American students."

Obama's plan calls for connecting financial aid to a college's academic success using a new ranking system for schools.

He also made it clear students must do their part in holding themselves accountable for continually striving to do their best.

Obama also discussed the urgency of helping students pay their loan debt.

After speaking in Buffalo, Obama headed to Syracuse, where he spoke at Henninger High School.

"If higher education is still the key to upward mobility in America, and it is, then we need to make sure it is within reach," he said. "We need to make sure we are improving economic mobility, not making it worse. Higher education should not be a luxury, it is a necessity, an economic imperative that every family in America should be able to afford."

Between Buffalo and Syracuse, the president made a couple of stops.

He had lunch in Rochester, where he spoke with students about the heart of his speeches.

He also made a stop at Seneca Falls, visiting the Women's Rights National Historical Park Visitors Center.

While there, he presented representatives with a copy of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, and a copy of the remarks he made during the signing ceremony.

Obama is expected to make his stop at Binghamton University sometime after noon.