The United States Senate overwhelmingly passed the America Competes Act Wednesday. This act is designed to boost funding significantly for educational efforts in math, science, and technology. According to CNN.com,
"The increase would boost total spending in these programs to $60 billion over the four-year period, said Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, a former education secretary.
The authorized spending would double total funding for the National Science Foundation in five years and set the Energy Department's Office of Science on a path to double over 10 years."
The House of Representatives is also debating legislation that would increase funding for teacher education, creation of magnet schools, and partnerships with federal agencies to enhance competitiveness. At the same time, the House passed legislation for scholarship and stipend money to increase the number of highly qualified teachers in secondary math and science education.
On the other hand, e School News is reporting that Bill Gates and Eli Broad have already spent close to $2 billion in private funds on the public education system. It certainly begs the question of whether money is the answer or whether a paradigm shift is needed to address all of the ills that ail math and science education in this country. Many countries with far fewer resources are having more luck cranking out students ready for the high tech job markets or for serious applied science and math education at the university level. Will $60 billion turn things around? Talk back below and let us know what you think.