November 5, 2013

Senator Patty Murray                                                                    Representative Paul Ryan

Chairman, Senate Budget Committee                                    Chairman, House Budget Committee

624 Dirksen Senate Office Building                                           207 Cannon House Office Building

Washington DC 20510                                                                    Washington DC 20515


Senator Jeff Sessions                                                                     Representative Chris Van Hollen

Ranking Member, Senate Budget Committee                     Ranking Member, House Budget Committee

624 Dirksen Senate Office Building                                           B-71Cannon House Office Building

Washington DC 20515                                                                    Washington DC 20515


Dear Chairman Murray, Chairman Ryan, Ranking Member Sessions and Ranking Member Van Hollen:

As business leaders from across the country, we urge you to make early investments in human capital development that drives greater economic productivity and strength for our nation. The Budget Conference Committee should seek to close our budget deficit, while making greater investments in closing the deficit in skills that is weakening America’s workforce and economic competitiveness. Both these goals can be accomplished by making substantial investments in high quality early childhood education for disadvantaged children from birth to five.

Our businesses, and our nation as a whole, face a lack of skilled workers, a shrinking middle class, and diminishing buying power among consumers in housing, durable goods, products and services that have traditionally driven our economy. A strong, sustainable economy hinges on a workforce that is knowledgeable, smart, persistent, and capable of working in teams to solve complex problems, earning higher wages, and moving their families ahead through opportunity and enterprise. That is why we cannot close our budget deficit until we close our skills deficit.

Research shows that the skills deficit emerges as early as 18 months, widens throughout the early years, and is difficult and expensive to close. Simply put, early skills are the essential foundation for later success. Fortunately, developmental science and economics point us to an effective and cost-efficient solution: quality early childhood programs for disadvantaged children from birth to age five. They more than pay for themselves in better education, health, social, and economic outcomes. Just as importantly, they impart the skills that are essential for building our future workforce, reducing costly social spending and producing our way out of our budget deficits.

Investing in early childhood education is a practical, not partisan issue. Across the nation, Republican and Democratic governors are employing early childhood education as a solution for greater achievement, less crime and social dependency and more effective workforce development. But states don’t have the resources to do it alone. We need a federal investment that helps states and communities continue their work to provide innovation, access and outcomes that pay off for everyone. Your budget negotiations present a critical opportunity to leverage this worthy and much-needed solution for advancing America’s economic future. Investing in early learning is good for children, great for families and essential for business.


Nicholas K. Akins

President and CEO, American Electric Power

John W. Altmeyer

President and CEO, Carlisle Construction Materials

Steven M. Altschuler

CEO, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Thomas E. Arenberg

Managing Director (Retired), Accenture

Darrell W. Auterson

President and CEO, York County Economic Alliance

Curt Bailey

President, Related Midwest

Bruce M. Bartels

Former President, WellSpan Health

J. Robert Baum

Chairman, Highmark Inc.

Peter A. Benoliel

Chairman Emeritus, Quaker Chemical Corporation

Donald M. Bernhard

Director, Community Affairs, PPL

B. Bradford Billings

President and CEO, Blessing Health System

Arthur M. Blank

Owner and CEO, Atlanta Falcons

Co-founder, The Home Depot

Betsy C. Bort

Vice President, Commercial Lending, ERIEBANK

Terry R. Bossert

Vice President, Legislation and Regulatory Affairs, Range Resources Appalachia LLC

John J. Brennan

Chairman Emeritus and Senior Advisor, Vanguard

Peter P. Brubaker

Former President and CEO, Susquehanna Media Co.

John Bucksbaum

CEO, Bucksbaum Retail Properties

Brad Busse

Former President, Daniels & Associates

Anthony P. Campisi

President and CEO, Glatfelter Insurance Group

Kevin Carnes

President, Lakeshore Learning Materials

Denise S. Cesare

President and CEO, Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania

Michael Chesser

Chairman and CEO (Retired), Great Plains Energy, Inc.

Robert H. Colson

Distinguished Lecturer of Accountancy, Baruch College

Former Partner, Grant Thornton

Tanny Crane

President and CEO, Crane Group

Ann C. Crouter

Dean, Penn State University College of Health and Human Development

Maria A. Culp

Former President and CEO, Central Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce

Peter J. Danchak

President, Northeast PA, PNC Bank

Philip E. Devorris

President and CEO, Blair Companies

Stephanie N. Doliveira, Esq.

Vice President, Human Resources, Sheetz Inc.

Edward Donley

Former Chairman, Air Products and Chemicals Inc.

Rob Dugger

Managing Partner, Hanover Provident Capital

Robert C. Esch

Vice President, External Affairs, American Refining Group

Varsovia Fernández

President and CEO, Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Frank J. Ford

President, St. Luke’s Hospital, Allentown Campus, St. Luke’s University Health Network

Charlene A. Friedman

CFO, Friedman Real Estate Group

Timothy M. Gage

Former Vice President, Human Resources, Brodart Company

James F. Glunt

Partner, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

Earl G. Graves, Jr.

President and CEO, Black Enterprise

Mike Grindell

Chief Administrative Officer, 22squared

Barbara B. Grogan

Chairman Emeritus, Western Industrial Contractors

Patrick W. Gross

Chairman, The Lovell Group

Ronald Grzywinski

Chairman Emeritus, ShoreBank Corporation

Carl Guardino

President and CEO, Silicon Valley Leadership Group

Tom Haffner

President and CEO, P.T. International Corp.

Hollis Hart

Head, International Franchise Management, Citigroup

David W. Hawk

Chair of the Board, Gertrude Hawk Chocolates

Daniel B. Hoover

President and CEO, Roaring Spring Blank Book Co.

Henry G. Jackson

President and CEO, Society for Human Resource Management

Larry Jensen

President/CEO, Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors

George B. Kaiser

Board Chair, BOK Financial Corp.

Larry Kellner

Former CEO, Continental Airlines

President, Emerald Creek Group

Candace Kendle

Former CEO, Kendle International

Julia H. Klein

Chairwoman and CEO, C.H. Briggs Company

Lloyd H. Lamm

Regional Banking Executive, Capital Region, First National Bank of PA

David H. Langstaff

President and CEO, TASC, Inc.

Randall Lawton

Board Chair and Principal Owner, C. A. Lawton Co.

William Lehr, Jr.

Chairman of the Board, Capital Blue Cross

Alice G. Lindenauer

Managing Director, Global Human Resources, Hamilton Lane

Bob Linscheid

President and CEO, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce

Susan W. Lipp

Chairman, Full Compass Systems, Ltd.

Bruce K. MacLaury

President Emeritus, The Brookings Institution

Brian Maher

Former Chairman and CEO, Maher Terminals

Anthony G. Marshall

President and CEO, Innovative Systems Group, Inc.

Daniel McCarthy

President and Chief Operating Officer, Frontier Communications

Ken McNeely

President, AT&T California

Lenny Mendonca

Director, McKinsey and Company

David Merage

CEO, Consolidated Investment Group

Deborah Hicks Midanek

President, Solon Group, Inc.

Chairman, Prevail Fund, Inc.

Chairman, Grenada Community Foundation

Alfred T. Mockett

CEO, Dex One

Anne Mulcahy

Former CEO, Xerox

Michael S. Murchie

Regional President, Central and Western PA, M&T Bank

Cynthia Murray

President and CEO, North Bay Leadership Council

Dean O’Hare

Former Chairman and CEO, Chubb Corporation

Steve Odland

CEO, Committee for Economic Development

Joseph J. Peluso

Management Consultant and Managing General Partner, Laurel Petroleum

John Pepper

Former CEO, Procter & Gamble

Philip A. Peterson

Partner, Aon Hewitt

Todd E. Petzel

Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer, Offit Capital Advisors LLC

P. Timothy Phelps

Executive Director, Transportation Management Association of Chester County

Michael A. Plazony

Senior Vice President, Erie Insurance Group

J.B. Pritzker

Managing Partner, Pritzker Group

Byron J. Quinton

President and CEO, Clarion Hospital

John R. Rathgeber

President and CEO, CBIA

Matt Rezvani

Managing Partner, California Strategy Advisors

Sean C. Rice

Founder and Owner, Hudson River Group

Norman S. Rich

Former President and CEO, Weis Markets Inc.

James Rohr

Executive Chairman, PNC Financial Services Group

Daniel Rose

Chairman, Rose Associates, Inc.

Jesse Ruiz

Partner, Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

Audrey Russo

President and CEO, Pittsburgh Technology Council

Edward Rust

Chairman and CEO, State Farm Insurance Companies

Anthony J. Salvaggio

President and CEO, Computer Aid Inc.

Manuel Sánchez

Founder and Managing Principal, Sánchez Daniels & Hoffman, LLP

David W. Scheible

CEO and President, Graphic Packaging Corp. and Graphic Packaging International, Inc.

Nick Scott, Jr.

Vice President, Scott Enterprises

Michael E. Smeltzer

Executive Director, Manufacturers’ Association of South Central PA

Peter P. Smith

Senior Vice President, Academic Strategies and Development, Kaplan, Inc.

Tim Solso

Former CEO, Cummins Inc.

Dave J. Spigelmyer

President, Marcellus Shale Coalition

Jim Spurlino

President, Spurlino Materials

Jess M. Stairs

Former State Representative, Pennsylvania’s 59th District

Harrison Steans

Chairman of the Executive Committee, Financial Investments Corporation

Jon Stellmacher

Former Senior Vice President, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans

The Honorable Paula Stern

Chairwoman, The Stern Group, Inc.

John S. Sutika

President, DuBois Regional Medical Center

Vincentina C. Taylor

President, Waveline Direct LLC

Gary L. Toebben

President and CEO, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

Lee B. Torrence

President, CWB Enterprises

Dr. Jerry Weast

Founder and President, Partnership for Deliberate Excellence, LLC

Former Superintendent, Montgomery County Public Schools

Thomas G. Welsh

President, MBL (USA) Corporation

Harold M. Williams

President Emeritus, Getty Trust

John S. Williamson

Vice President, Finance, Direct Energy Business

Andrew B. Williford

Vice President, Human Resources, Volvo Construction Equipment Operations Americas

Catherine J. Woods

Senior Director Compliance and Quality, excelleRx Inc.

Steven T. Wray

Executive Director, Economy League of Greater Philadelphia

Julie Meier Wright

Strategic Advisor, Collaborative Economics

Duncan Wyse

President, Oregon Business Council

Dr. Kurt E. Yeager

President Emeritus, Electric Power Research Institute

Michael A. Young

President and CEO, PinnacleHealth System

Jim Zimmerman

Former CEO, Macy’s



CC: Budget Committee Conferees

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