America COMPETES Act and the FY2009 Budget [Updated March 20, 2008]   [open pdf - 131KB]

From the Summary: "The America COMPETES [Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science] Act (P.L. [Public Law] 110-69) responds to concerns that the United States may not be able to compete economically with other nations in the future due to insufficient investment today in science and technology research and in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. A similar concern led President Bush to announce the American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI) in January 2006. In March 2008, both the House and Senate included in their budget resolutions support for the America COMPETES Act. The act authorizes increases in the nation's investment in science and engineering research at the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) laboratories, and the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science. In addition, the act authorizes new STEM education programs at NSF, DOE, and the Department of Education (ED) and enhances the funding of some existing programs at NSF including the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program. A concern to some policymakers is whether federal appropriations will meet the act's authorized levels. […] At NSF, the FY2009 budget justification provides a FY2008 budget estimate less than Congress appropriated for the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program and requests FY2009 funding at approximately 10% of that authorized in the act. At DOE, an issue is the degree to which DOE has taken actions to establish the new DOE STEM education initiatives authorized in the act. The DOE FY2009 budget justification notes the America COMPETES Act and mentions many DOE STEM education programs, but it does not identify any specific America COMPETES Act initiatives. As a result, the status of these programs is unclear."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL34396
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