Business Roundtable Urges Targeted Use of Stimulus Money to Dramatically Improve Schools

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. corporations, today joined other organizations from the education, business, civil rights, and philanthropic communities to launch the Coalition for Student Achievement. This broad-based, bipartisan coalition will help ensure that American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds are strategically invested with an eye toward long-term gains in student achievement. Signed by President Obama in February, ARRA includes approximately $100 billion in new federal education spending, on top of recent FY09 and pending FY10 appropriations.

“States and districts are already receiving billions of dollars in federal stimulus funding for education through ARRA,” said William D. Green, Chairman & CEO, Accenture, and Chairman of Business Roundtable’s Education, Innovation and Workforce Initiative. “We want to make sure that those funds are being put to good use—and in our minds, good use includes not only addressing immediate needs, but also focusing on the reforms that will drive long-term improvement. More money alone will not produce better results. Real education reform is essential to the success of our children, not just in grade school, but throughout their lifetimes.”

The Coalition for Student Achievement is committed to working with the Obama administration to strengthen America’s schools, especially to improve teacher effectiveness, boost standards, and better prepare young people for college and work. Coalition members have pledged to closely monitor the implementation of the stimulus legislation, working to make sure that this unprecedented infusion of federal funding is invested wisely by states and districts and overseen effectively by the administration.

In a joint letter to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Business Roundtable and other members of the coalition wrote, “While we appreciate the speed and efficiency by which the Department is delivering these much-needed funds, we want to be on record expressing our view that speed and efficiency must not trump reform and improvement.” Green added, “Responsible management and allocation of ARRA funds is critical, not just to save and create jobs, but also to make much-needed progress on the education reforms that strengthen teaching and raise student achievement.”

For more information about the Coalition for Student Achievement, visit www.coalitionforstudentachievement.org.

Business Roundtable is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies with more than $5 trillion in annual revenues and nearly 10 million employees. Member companies comprise nearly a third of the total value of the U.S. stock markets and pay nearly half of all corporate income taxes paid to the federal government. Annually, they return $133 billion in dividends to shareholders and the economy. Business Roundtable companies give more than $7 billion a year in combined charitable contributions, representing nearly 60 percent of total corporate giving. They are technology innovation leaders, with more than $70 billion in annual research and development spending – more than a third of the total private R&D spending in the U.S.