Text: S.2423 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (03/15/2006)


109th CONGRESS
2d Session
S. 2423


To improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 15, 2006

Mr. Santorum introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance


A BILL

To improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Securing Excellence in Education for Our Kids in Math and Science Act of 2006” or the “SEEK Math and Science Act”.

SEC. 2. Table of contents.

The table of contents for this Act is as follows:


Sec. 1. Short title.

Sec. 2. Table of contents.

Sec. 101. Definitions.

Sec. 102. Master's degrees.

Sec. 103. Government Accountability Office Report.

Sec. 104. Undergraduate scholarships.

Sec. 105. Signing and retention bonuses.

Sec. 106. Advanced placement.

Sec. 107. Grants for performance incentive compensation systems.

Sec. 108. Employee training and teaching in mathematics, science, and technology.

Sec. 109. Public awareness campaign.

Sec. 201. Establishment of program.

Sec. 202. Definitions.

Sec. 203. Authorization of appropriations.

SEC. 101. Definitions.

The terms used in this title have the same meanings given the terms in section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801).

SEC. 102. Master's degrees.

(a) Grants to institutions of higher education.—The Secretary of Education is authorized to award grants to institutions of higher education to enable the institutions of higher education—

(1) to develop, for middle and secondary school teachers of science or mathematics, a master's degree program in science or mathematics, that can be completed on a part-time basis in not more than 2 academic years; and

(2) to use such grant funds to pay the Federal share of the cost of awarding scholarships to the teachers to complete the master's degree program.

(b) Federal share; non-Federal share.—The Federal share shall be 50 percent. The non-Federal share of the cost of tuition, fees, and books required to complete the master's degree program shall be provided from non-Federal sources.

(c) Scholarship amount.—An institution of higher education that receives a grant under this section shall award a scholarship under subsection (a)(2) in an amount equal to the cost of tuition, fees, and books required to complete the master's degree program.

(d) Authorization of appropriations.—There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $10,000,000 for fiscal year 2007 and each of the 4 succeeding fiscal years.

SEC. 103. Government Accountability Office Report.

The Comptroller General shall report to Congress, not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act, on the effectiveness of Federal programs designed to achieve each of the following purposes:

(1) To increase the number of students studying science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.

(2) To increase the number of students graduating from college with a degree in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.

(3) To improve educational programs in science, engineering, or mathematics.

SEC. 104. Undergraduate scholarships.

(a) Grants authorized.—The Secretary of Education is authorized to award grants to States, on a competitive basis, to enable the States to award scholarships to eligible students to enable the eligible students to obtain an undergraduate degree in the physical or life sciences, technology, engineering, or mathematics concurrently with certification to teach elementary school or secondary school science or mathematics.

(b) Teaching requirement.—In order to receive a scholarship under this section an individual shall enter into an agreement with the Secretary under which—

(1) the individual agrees to teach science or mathematics in a public elementary school or secondary school for a period of 5 years after receiving the degree for which the scholarship is awarded; and

(2) the individual agrees to repay all scholarship payments received under this section if the individual fails to complete the 5-year teaching requirement described in paragraph (1).

(c) Student eligibility.—A student is eligible for a scholarship under this section if the student is a full-time undergraduate student who has completed a rigorous secondary school curriculum in science and mathematics.

(d) Rigorous curriculum.—Each participating State shall determine the requirements for a rigorous secondary school curriculum in science and mathematics described in subsection (c). Such curriculum shall not serve to exclude, explicitly or implicitly, students in private or home school settings.

(e) Definition of State.—In this section the term “State” means each of the several States of the United States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

(f) Duration.—Each State that receives a grant under this section shall award a scholarship under this section for not more than 4 years of undergraduate study.

(g) Amount.—Each State that receives a grant under this section shall award a scholarship under this section to an eligible student in an amount that is equal to the lesser of—

(1) the amount necessary to cover, for such student, the cost of tuition, fees, and books required to complete the undergraduate degree; or

(2) $10,000 per academic year to complete the undergraduate degree.

(h) Number of scholarships.—The Secretary shall ensure that the aggregate number of scholarships awarded under this section by all the States equals—

(1) 5,000 for fiscal year 2007;

(2) 10,000 for fiscal year 2008; and

(3) 25,000 for each of the fiscal years 2009, 2010, 2011.

(i) Relation to other assistance.—A scholarship provided under this section shall not be considered for purposes of awarding Federal grant assistance, except that in no case shall the total amount of Federal student assistance awarded to a scholarship recipient under this section exceed the student's total cost of attendance as determined under section 472 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1087ll).

(j) Administration and implementation limitation.—The Secretary shall use not more than a total of 1 percent of the amounts appropriated under subsection (k) for each fiscal year for administrative expenses and the costs of implementing this section.

(k) Authorization of appropriations.—There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section—

(1) $50,000,000 for fiscal year 2007;

(2) $100,000,000 for fiscal year 2008;

(3) $250,000,000 for fiscal year 2009;

(4) $250,000,000 for fiscal year 2010; and

(5) $250,000,000 for fiscal year 2011.

SEC. 105. Signing and retention bonuses.

(a) Signing bonuses.—

(1) SIGNING BONUSES AUTHORIZED.—The Secretary of Education is authorized to award signing bonuses, in the amount of $5,000, to individuals who have an undergraduate or graduate degree in science or mathematics and who, after the date of enactment of this Act—

(A) first teach such subjects in a public elementary school or secondary school with the greatest need for teachers of such subjects, as determined by the Secretary; and

(B) enter into an agreement with the Secretary under which—

(i) the teacher agrees to teach science or mathematics in a public elementary school or secondary school with the greatest need for teachers of such subjects, as determined by the Secretary, for a period of 5 consecutive academic years following receipt of the signing bonus; and

(ii) the teacher agrees to repay to the Secretary a pro rata portion of the signing bonus received under this subsection if the teacher fails to comply with the teaching requirement described in clause (i).

(2) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 2007 and each of the 4 succeeding fiscal years.

(b) Retention bonuses.—

(1) RETENTION BONUSES AUTHORIZED.—The Secretary of Education is authorized to award retention bonuses, in the amount of $10,000, to elementary school or secondary school teachers who—

(A) have an undergraduate or graduate degree in science or mathematics;

(B) have taught science or mathematics for a period of 5 school years in a public elementary school or secondary school with the greatest need for teachers of such subjects, as determined by the Secretary; and

(C) enter into an agreement with the Secretary under which—

(i) the teacher agrees to teach science or mathematics in a public elementary school or secondary school for an additional period of 5 consecutive academic years following receipt of the retention bonus; and

(ii) the teacher agrees to repay to the Secretary a pro rata portion of the retention bonus received under this subsection if the teacher fails to comply with the teaching requirement described in clause (i).

(2) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 2007 and each of the 4 succeeding fiscal years.

SEC. 106. Advanced placement.

(a) Grants authorized.—The Secretary of Education is authorized to award grants, on a competitive basis, to local educational agencies and State educational agencies to enable the agencies—

(1) to increase the enrollment of secondary school students in Advanced Placement (AP) science and mathematics courses at their secondary schools, or if Advanced Placement courses in science or mathematics are not offered at their secondary schools, at an institution of higher education; and

(2) to facilitate distance learning for secondary school students in rural school districts in order to increase such students' access to Advanced Placement (AP) science and mathematics courses.

(b) Authorization of appropriations.—There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 2007 and each of the 4 succeeding fiscal years.

SEC. 107. Grants for performance incentive compensation systems.

(a) Grants authorized.—The Secretary of Education is authorized to award grants, on an competitive basis, to not less than 5 local educational agencies and not more than 10 different States, to enable the local educational agencies and States to carry out pilot programs that develop and implement a fair, differentiated compensation system for middle and secondary school teachers of science and mathematics that is based primarily on measures of improvement in student academic achievement.

(b) Definition of State.—In this section the term “State” means each of the several States of the United States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

(c) Implementation limitation.—The Secretary shall not use more than 5 percent of the total amount appropriated to carry out this section during the period beginning on October 1, 2006, and ending on September 30, 2011, for the administration of the programs described in subsection (a).

(d) Authorization of appropriations.—There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $50,000,000 for fiscal year 2007 and each of the 4 succeeding fiscal years.

SEC. 108. Employee training and teaching in mathematics, science, and technology.

(a) In general.—Subpart D of part IV of subchapter A of chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to business related credits) is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

“SEC. 45N. Credit for employee training and teaching in mathematics, science, and technology.

“(a) Amount of credit.—For purposes of section 38, the employee training and teaching credit determined under this section with respect to any employer for any taxable year is equal to the sum of—

“(1) 25 percent of the qualified employee training costs paid or incurred by the employer during the calendar year ending with or within such taxable year, and

“(2) 50 percent of the qualified employee teaching costs paid or incurred by the employer during such calendar year.

“(b) Limitation.—The credit allowable under subsection (a) for any taxable year shall not exceed the lesser of—

“(1) 5 percent of the net income of the taxpayer for such taxable year, or

“(2) $10,000.

“(c) Qualified employee training costs.—For purposes of this section, the term ‘qualified employee training costs’ means costs paid or incurred by an employer for post-secondary education or training to maintain or improve knowledge or skills in mathematics, science, or technology of any employee whose specific position requires greater knowledge or skills in mathematics, science, or technology.

“(d) Qualified employee teaching costs.—For purposes of this section, the term ‘qualified employee teaching costs’ means costs (including wages) paid or incurred by an employer to allow any employee, who is a highly qualified (as defined in section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965) teacher, to teach 1 or more courses of instruction in the core academic subjects of mathematics or science.

“(e) Applicable rules.—For purposes of this section, rules similar to the rules under section 45F(e) shall apply.

“(f) Regulations.—The Secretary may prescribe such regulations as may be necessary or appropriate to carry out the purposes of this section consistent with regulations established by the Department of Education regarding post-secondary education and training and teaching of the core academic subjects of mathematics and science.”.

(b) Credit allowed against the alternative minimum tax.—Section 38(c)(4)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (defining specified credits) is amended by striking the period at the end of clause (ii)(II) and inserting “, and”, and by adding at the end the following new clause:

“(iii) the credit determined under section 45N.”.

(c) Credit made part of general business credit.—Section 38(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by striking “and” at the end of paragraph (29), by striking the period at the end of paragraph (30) and inserting “, plus”, and by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

“(31) the employee training and teaching credit determined under section 45N(a).”.

(d) Denial of double benefit.—Section 280C of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

“(e) Employee training and teaching credit.—No deduction shall be allowed for that portion of the expenses otherwise allowable as a deduction for the taxable year which is equal to the amount of the credit determined under section 45N(a).”.

(e) Clerical Amendment.—The table of sections for subpart D of part IV of subchapter A of chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by adding at the end the following new item:


“Sec. 45N. Employee training and teaching credit.”.

(f) Effective Date.—The amendments made by this section shall apply to costs paid or incurred in taxable years beginning after December 31, 2006.

SEC. 109. Public awareness campaign.

(a) In general.—The Secretary of Education, in consultation with the Secretary of Energy and the Director of the National Science Foundation, is authorized to develop and carry out a public awareness campaign in public elementary schools and secondary schools to encourage the students attending such schools to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

(b) Authorization of appropriations.—There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $500,000 for fiscal year 2007 and each of the 4 succeeding fiscal years.

SEC. 201. Establishment of program.

(a) Program.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall carry out a program of assuming the obligation to pay, pursuant to the provisions of this title, the interest on a loan made, insured, or guaranteed under part B or D of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1071 et seq., 1087a et seq.).

(2) ELIGIBILITY.—The Secretary may assume interest payments under paragraph (1) only for a borrower who—

(A) has submitted an application in compliance with subsection (d);

(B) obtained 1 or more loans described in paragraph (1) as an undergraduate student;

(C) is a new borrower (within the meaning of section 103(7) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1003(7)) on or after the date of enactment of this Act;

(D) is a teacher of science or mathematics at an elementary school or secondary school, or is a mathematics, science, or engineering professional;

(E) maintains eligibility as described in paragraph (5); and

(F) enters into an agreement with the Secretary to complete 5 consecutive years of service in a position described in subparagraph (D), starting on the date of the agreement.

(3) PRIOR INTEREST LIMITATIONS.—The Secretary shall not make any payments for interest that—

(A) accrues prior to the beginning of the repayment period on a loan in the case of a loan made under section 428H of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1078–8) or a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan; or

(B) has accrued prior to the signing of an agreement under paragraph (2)(E).

(4) INITIAL SELECTION.—In selecting participants for the program under this title, the Secretary—

(A) shall choose among eligible applicants on the basis of—

(i) the areas of national need designated pursuant to section 712 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1135a), especially those designated areas of national need related to math and science; and

(ii) the academic record or job performance of the applicant; and

(B) may choose among eligible applicants on the basis of—

(i) the likelihood of the applicant to complete the 5-year service obligation;

(ii) the likelihood of the applicant to remain in science, mathematics, or engineering after the completion of the service requirement; or

(iii) other relevant criteria determined by the Secretary.

(5) MAINTAINING ELIGIBILITY.—To remain eligible to receive loan interest payments under this title, a borrower shall maintain academic progress in the same manner as a student receiving an award under section 714 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1135c) shall maintain academic progress under subsection (d)(1) of such Act.

(6) AVAILABILITY SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATIONS.—Loan interest payments under this title shall be subject to the availability of appropriations. If the amount appropriated for any fiscal year is not sufficient to provide interest payments on behalf of all qualified applicants, the Secretary shall give priority to those individuals on whose behalf interest payments were made during the preceding fiscal year.

(7) REGULATIONS.—The Secretary is authorized to prescribe such regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.

(b) Duration and Amount of Interest Payments.—The period during which the Secretary shall pay interest on behalf of a student borrower who is selected under subsection (a) is the period that begins on the effective date of the agreement under subsection (a)(2)(F), continues after successful completion of the service obligation, and ends on the earlier of—

(1) the completion of the repayment period of the loan;

(2) payment by the Secretary of a total of $10,000 on behalf of the borrower;

(3) if the borrower ceases to fulfill the service obligation under such agreement prior to the end of the 5-year period, as soon as the borrower is determined to have ceased to fulfill such obligation in accordance with regulations of the Secretary; or

(4) 6 months after the end of any calendar year in which the borrower’s gross income equals or exceeds 4 times the national per capita disposable personal income (current dollars) for such calendar year, as determined on the basis of the National Income and Product Accounts Tables of the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the Department of Commerce, as determined in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary.

(c) Repayment to Eligible Lenders.—Subject to the regulations prescribed by the Secretary pursuant to subsection (a)(7), the Secretary shall pay to each eligible lender or holder for each payment period the amount of the interest that accrues on a loan of a student borrower who is selected under subsection (a) under the same terms as such borrower would pay.

(d) Application for Repayment.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Each eligible individual desiring loan interest payment under this section shall submit a complete and accurate application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require.

(2) FAILURE TO COMPLETE SERVICE AGREEMENT.—Such application shall contain an agreement by the individual that, if the individual fails to complete the 5 consecutive years of service required by subsection (a)(2)(F), the individual agrees to repay the Secretary the amount of any interest paid by the Secretary on behalf of the individual.

(e) Treatment of Consolidation Loans.—A consolidation loan made under section 428C of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1078–3), or a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan made under part D of title IV of such Act (20 U.S.C. 1087a et seq.), may be a loan for which interest is paid pursuant to this section only to the extent that such loan amount was used by a borrower who otherwise meets the requirements of this section to repay—

(1) a loan made under section 428 or 428H of such Act (20 U.S.C. 1078, 1078–8); or

(2) a Federal Direct Stafford Loan, or a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, made under part D of title IV of such Act (20 U.S.C. 1087a et seq.).

(f) Prevention of Double Benefits.—No borrower may, for the same service, receive a benefit under both this section and—

(1) any loan forgiveness program under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070 et seq.); or

(2) subtitle D of title I of the National and Community Service Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12601 et seq.).

SEC. 202. Definitions.

As used in this title:

(1) SECRETARY.—The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Education.

(2) MATHEMATICS, SCIENCE, OR ENGINEERING PROFESSIONAL.—the term “mathematics, science, or engineering professional” means a person who—

(A) holds a baccalaureate, masters, or doctoral degree (or a combination thereof) in science, mathematics, or engineering; and

(B) works in a field the Secretary determines is closely related to that degree, which shall include working as a professor at a 2- or 4-year institution of higher education.

SEC. 203. Authorization of appropriations.

There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this title such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 2007 and for each of the 4 succeeding fiscal years.


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