"Fairfax County has shown the nation how to upgrade the teaching profession by demonstrating how to attract and retain good teachers,'' Mr. Reagan said.
"Career ladders, performance-based pay, and other initiatives help to keep good teachers in the profession, and everybody benefits--students, parents, and teachers.''
Senators debated the issue late last week, and both the House and the Senate have scheduled votes for this week.
He has sent lawmakers a long list of items that he says deserve to be stricken from the federal budget, including funds for a rural-education program and for hearing-loss assessments for Native Hawaiian children.
According to the document, released the same evening as the State of the Union Message, Mr. Reagan has instructed the Education Department to draft the model legislation, which would allow parents of Chapter 1 students to use vouchers issued by states to purchase compensatory services at public or private schools.
Speaking to about 8,500 students and parents of Duval County high schools in Jacksonville, Fla., Mr. Reagan called the school system one of the best in the country--one that got to the top without "lots of money."
President Reagan brought the message of last month's summit meeting to a Maryland high school last week, encouraging students to participate in people-to-people exchanges with their peers in the Soviet Union.