The Billings Gazette is reporting on a proposal by Montana Senator Max Baucus (D), calling for free tuition in certain fields to increase our competitiveness with foreign countries. Intended as part of his "Education Competitiveness Act," the funding would provide
free college tuition for math and science majors as part of a $25 billion education incentives package that also includes help for rural teachers and more money for pre-kindergarten programs...The goal, he said in an interview last week, is to better prepare children for school and get more of them into college to make the United States more globally competitive, particularly with countries like China and India.
While students would need to commit to working or teaching in a field related to their major for at least four years after graduation, the Act would give math and science majors a full scholarship to the university of their choice.
Will this infuse our youth with enthusiasm for the science and technology skills so badly needed in a global economy? It's hard to say, but the bill doesn't seem to do much to improve or fund secondary math/science education, begging the question, will students be ready for their free ride when they graduate from high school?