Sunday, February 15, 2009

Statement on Education and the Economic Stimulus

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Center for Education Reform president Jeanne Allen made the following statement concerning Friday's 60 - 38 Senate vote completing the passage of The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a $787 billion economic stimulus package:

"While the economic stimulus may provide jobs for some Americans and make available to states an infusion of funds to shore up their budget deficits, by and large, the education portion of the package misses the mark by a wide margin. Student achievement, the purpose of our nation's schools, is not an explicit or implicit requirement of the new stimulus spending for education, which mainly provides an immediate influx of funding for the construction of new school facilities and the preservation of teachers' jobs, even for those who fail our children on a daily basis. While state's bear the primary responsibility of making policy changes that could dramatically improve student achievement -- from performance based compensation to creating new choices for children -- the federal government could have created incentives for states to make necessary changes in law that often fail because of opposition from powerful interest groups. Until Congress and the Administration make a commitment to change more than just the facade of our public schools and to relieve our students of the status quo shackle of ineffective education policies, the economic revival so sorely needed in America will, sadly, be a long time in coming."

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