Federal Education Budget Bill Disappoints STEM Education Proponents

Federal Education Budget Bill Disappoints STEM Education Proponents

Last December, the STEM Education Coalition posted a useful analysis of key STEM provisions in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act – read about the Act’s provisions to integrate engineering and technology into science assessments,  strengthen Career and Technical Education, create a STEM Master Teacher Corps and expand STEM professional development here.

Of particular interest to STEM Next and expanded learning stakeholders is the Title IV “21st Century Schools” Grants Support STEM Activities Provision, which establishes a new formula block grant to school districts to help support activities to provide students with a well-rounded education, ensure safe and supportive learning environments, use technology to improve instruction, and support afterschool STEM.

That vision may not be followed with the resources to carry it out. On June 7th, the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Appropriations Subcommittee marked up and passed a bipartisan FY2017 education spending bill decreased funding for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program and included just $300 million for the Title IV “21st Century Schools” Grant – well below the President’s request of $500 million and nowhere near the authorized funding level of $1.65 billion.

The STEM Education Coalition released a statement expressing disappointment with the budget, while the Afterschool Alliance gives the details in a June 7 blog post.