Congress Passes America COMPETES Reauthorization Act

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Congress passed the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act (H.R. 5116, S. 3605). The America COMPETES Act, first enacted in 2007, was drafted in response to " Rising Above the Gathering Storm," the National Academies' report on America's lagging competitiveness in science and technology. The America COMPETES Reauthorization Act funds investments in science and engineering research and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education from kindergarten to the postdoctoral level.

Specifically, the bill authorizes funding from FY2011–FY2013 for the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, basic research at the Energy Department, and the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy. The legislation also authorizes funding for existing and new STEM education programs.

The STEM Education Coalition, of which NSPE is a member, sent a letter to the House of Representatives earlier this week urging them to follow the Senate in passing the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act. The STEM Education Coalition supports STEM programs for teachers and students at the Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, and other agencies that offer STEM-related programs. The coalition is composed of more than 1,000 diverse groups representing all sectors of the technological workforce.