A leading U.S. lawmaker has issued a call for the government to offer full college scholarships to students majoring in science, mathematics, and engineering. Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) told the Associated Press recently that he will propose a measure called the Education Competitiveness Act, which will earmark US $25 billion for aid to students in those areas, when the Senate reconvenes in the fall.
The bill would provide funds to students pursuing careers in the technology disciplines in order to bolster the nation's standing in today's competitive global arena. In return, recipients of the scholarships would have to perform service related to their field of interest for four years.
"I think the challenge is fierce, and I think we have a real obligation to go the extra mile and redo things a bit differently, so we leave this place in better shape than we found it," Baucus said.
According to the AP account, Baucus said the legislation is aimed at better preparing children for school and getting more of them into college to make the United States more globally competitive, particularly with countries like China and India.
In addition to the scholarship program, the proposed law would also create 25 000 merit-based scholarships for teaching students in technology pursuits, with a similar provision that they must teach in their discipline for at least four years.
"Max feels strongly that we need to place a greater emphasis on math and science," a spokesman for the senator told the AP.