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April 10, 2013—APLU President Peter McPherson today released the following statement regarding President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget proposal.
“President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget proposal reflects a strong commitment to supporting research at our public universities while also providing financial assistance to help students pay for school.
“While we continue to review the administration’s budget documents in more detail, the overall figures reflect an understanding that continued investments in basic research and higher education will more than pay for themselves through the innovations and subsequent economic growth they generate. Research at our universities has led to the development of everything from the Internet, GPS and treatments for cancer and other devastating diseases. I greatly appreciate the President’s understanding that despite having more limited funding to allocate, we must continue to devote additional resources to the research that will lead to future economic gains.
“Investments in student aid and research, the majority of which is conducted at our nation’s universities, did not cause our budget deficits. In fact, those deficits would be even higher had we not made those past investments. Along with other leaders in the research university community, I have repeatedly called for a balanced approach of entitlement reform that yields savings and tax reform that produces new revenue as a path toward reining in budget deficits. While details certainly need to be worked out, the President’s budget proposal provides the framework for such an approach and I hope Congress works with the White House to get a much-needed big deal done this year.
“APLU has been working very hard to transform STEM education and teacher training through our Science and Mathematics Teacher Imperative (SMTI). We are very pleased to see the President continue his focus on training 100,000 new STEM teachers and producing 1 million new STEM graduates. This effort is incredibly important for increasing science literacy among all Americans and for producing the next generation of researchers and engineers who will discover and develop new technologies that will improve lives and power our economy for decades.
“In recent years we’ve seen states cut funding for public universities at the same time those schools are taking on additional students, which has furthered the need for federal financial assistance to offset this shift in costs. To that end, I’m pleased that the President maintained investments in the Pell, Work Study, and other student aid programs. We also appreciate that the President’s budget seeks to prevent interest rates on federal student loans from doubling on July 1 as scheduled, and look forward to learning more about how the proposed fixed-variable rate would be funded.”
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