U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar has introduced a bill that would expand STEM education nationwide by creating 100 high schools, adding computer-science teachers and building new opportunities for undergraduate research.
Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, announced the legislation Wednesday. The idea, she said, is to give students more opportunities to succeed in an increasingly skilled and specialized workforce while making the country’s economy more competitive.
“From the pacemaker to the Post-it Note, Minnesota has always led the way in creating the innovative products that fuel our economy,” Klobuchar said in a statement. “This legislation ensures that our businesses can invest in research and our workers have the skills they need to thrive in today’s competitive global economy.”
The Innovate America Act would, according to a release:
• Fund 100 new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)-focused high schools.
• Measure graduation rates for STEM students to encourage colleges and universities to adopt best practices to improve graduation rates.
• Expand undergraduate research opportunities to encourage more students to enter STEM fields.
• Boost the number of computer-science teachers in elementary and secondary schools.
• Create a pilot program at the National Science Foundation to support promising technology derived from foundation grants and help them be brought to market faster.
• Require the secretary of commerce to work with small-and medium-sized manufacturers to help them comply with regulations and identify those requirements that create an unnecessary burden.
• Require the Department of Commerce to issue a report on the global competitiveness of top exporting industries.