News Releases

Senator Murray Works to Make America's Workers and Economy More Competitive

Apr 25 2007

Senator votes to pass the "America Competes Act," which includes her proposal to improve math education in high school

(Washington, D.C.) -- Today U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash) helped pass a comprehensive bill to make America's workers more competitive by investing in research, innovation, and education. Murray voted for the "America COMPETES Act," which passed the Senate today 88-8. The bill included Murray's proposal to help schools hire math coaches to improve math education at America's high schools.

On March 7, 2007, Microsoft's Bill Gates testified at a Senate hearing that examined the legislation.

"With this bill, we are taking a major step forward to help America's workers compete and win in the global economy," Murray said. "I'm very proud that our country is home to some of the most innovative workers, schools, and companies in the world. But I've been frustrated that for too long our government has not used all the tools available to strengthen the hand of American workers in the world marketplace. This bill finally gets us on the right track, and that's going to pay dividends for generations."

The America COMPETES Act:

  1. increases research investment (doubles funding for the National Science Foundation and the Energy Department's Office of Science over the next 10 years);

  2. strengthens educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics from elementary through graduate school; and

  3. develops an infrastructure that will enhance innovation and competitiveness in the United States.

Murray's High School Math Skills Plan

Murray added a provision to the bill which creates a competitive grant program to help high schools hire math coaches to provide targeted support for students and math teachers. Murray offered her amendment because federal funding for math education typically drops off in the high school years, just when students need math help to pursue college and careers in engineering, science, math and technology.

Next, the House of Representatives must pass a companion bill.

More information on the bill