Powers signs education letter addressed to Obama

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University President William Powers Jr. signed a letter to President Barack Obama asking for a greater focus on education spending from his administration and the United States Congress.

The letter addressed a growing innovation deficit occurring in American schools because of decreasing federal investments in education and cuts caused by sequestration. The letter calls for Obama to reject budget cuts and emphasize substantial and long-term investments in research and education that can better secure the nation’s economic and academic future.

"Because the innovation deficit undermines economic growth it harms our nation’s overall fiscal health, worsening long-term budget deficits and debt.  Investments in research and education are not inconsistent with long-term deficit reduction; they are vital to it," the letter says.

The letter was signed by 193 University leaders, including UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa and the presidents of other UT campuses, and the effort behind the letter is led by the Association of American Universities and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. 

Follow Christine Ayala on Twitter @christine_ayala.