In a speech this afternoon, President Obama is expected to unveil a ten-year, $12 billion proposal to improve American community colleges.

The bulk of the money will take the form of challenge grants to support curricular and other innovation. The plan also includes $2.5 billion in seed money for facilities renovation and $500 million for free, public domain, online courses.

White House sources say part of the funding for the project could come from the $4 billion a year in savings expected from a pending restructuring of the nation’s college loan system.