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COMPETES act introduced in Senate to fund R&D, education

The bill authorizes funding increases for the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology for the next three years; funds education programs and student grants at the high school, undergraduate and graduate levels; and creates an "Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship" to push new technologies toward commercialization.

“While the United States continues to lead the world in science and engineering, other countries are working to close the gap by expanding their own investments in research, infrastructure, and education," Rockefeller said in a statement on Friday. "We need to do all we can to stay ahead of the curve, and this bill does a lot to prepare today’s students and businesses for the future.”

The original COMPETES act was passed in 2007 after a dismal report by the National Academy of Sciences helped heighten concerns that the country was losing ground in education and research.

The report found that 50 percent of math teachers had neither a degree nor a certification to teach math and that the current generation of children could inherit a lower standard of living than their parents, Gordon said in a speech in June.