NSTA Legislative Update

July 25, 2005

McKeon/Ehlers Amendment to Higher Education Act Includes Grants for Science and Mathematics

Late in the evening on Thursday July 21 the House Education and Workforce Committee approved a science and math education amendment to the College Access & Opportunity Act (H.R. 609), the reauthorized Higher Education Act. The amendment would:

Representative Vernon Ehlers (R-MI), a long time champion of science and math education, and Representative Buck McKeon (R-CA), chair of the Education and the Workforce 21st Century Competitiveness subcommittee, introduced the amendment.
"This amendment addresses a crisis. As the Committee recently heard from multiple witnesses, U.S. competitiveness depends on the quality of our Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) workforce," said Rep. Ehlers in a press release following the committee action. "Careers in these disciplines support the United States in maintaining its leadership in innovation and in ensuring that we can solve challenging problems such as designing new technologies, protecting our nation, and ensuring a strong economy."

The amendment authorizes $41 million in funding for this program. The full House has yet to approve the bill, but is expected to do so. The Senate has not yet taken up their Higher Education Act bill. NSTA and NCTM sent a letter of support for this legislation (http://science.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_2005_07_25_letter.htm). Watch for future issues of NSTA Express for updated information on this legislative initiative. For a copy of the bill or for more information, e-mail jpeterson@nsta.org.

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