Bolstering the nation's math and science teacher ranks and equipping U.S. students with the skills they need to be competitive in the global economy was the foundation for a new 10-year, $136 billion education and research program, called the American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI), proposed by President Bush during his annual State of the Union address to Congress Jan. 31.

Education groups largely embraced the plan when it was first announced. But their enthusiasm waned with the release of the president's 2007 budget proposal just six days later, which would cut 42 education programs totaling more

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