U.S. Chamber Testimony Calls for Increased Support for Science & Technology Education

March 10, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In testimony before the U.S. House Committee on Science and Technology today, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue called for increased focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education through the reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act and the permanent extension of a R&D tax credit.

“High school dropout rates are approaching 30% for all students and nearly 50% for minorities, and 35% ofU.S. college freshmen require remedialmath courses,” testified Donohue. “We can’t continue this way and expect to compete and win in the worldwide economy.”

The U.S. Chamber supports reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act as essential to improving STEM education through increasing the number and quality of STEM teachers; increasing support and access for students at the postsecondary level; attracting underrepresented groups to STEM courses and careers; supporting basic research; and establishing programs that will help create new forms of energy and commercialize new innovations. “Members of the committee, this Congress and the nation are attempting to confront many contentious issues in a very partisan, polarized atmosphere,” Donohue said. “Reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act is not one of them. The facts are clear. The need is urgent. The benefits are
undeniable.”

Donohue’s testimony also articulated Chamber support for the permanent extension of the R&D tax credit with the belief that it would encourage needed investments in important areas of the economy such as renewable energy, energy efficiency technologies, health care, and biotechnology.

Donohue’s complete testimony is available at: http://www.uschamber.com/issues/testimony/2010/100119_americacompetes.htm

The U.S. Chamber is the world's largest business federation representingmore than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.