(Washington, DC) - Today, House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) sent a letter to Dr. Arati Prabhakar, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) sharing concerns over the delayed release of OSTP’s five-year Federal Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Strategic Plan for 2023-2028. The deadline for submitting the strategic plan was December 31, 2023.

“OSTP has failed to deliver resources that are both mandated by law and critical to America’s economy,” Lucas said. “It is Congress’ intent, established under the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, for OSTP to dutifully develop and implement, through participating agencies, a five-year STEM education strategic plan once every five years.”

As our nation continues to build a strong STEM workforce, it is crucial for OSTP to establish clear, timely, and uniform government-wide standards for agencies and researchers to follow.

“As the demand for high-wage, high-skill jobs increases and the STEM workforce gap widens, our country’s competitive edge relies on our already significant federal investments in STEM education and workforce development,” Lucas stated. “These investments include over 200 programs across more than 20 agencies that look to OSTP’s leadership and timely guidance for coordination and direction.”

In the letter, Chairman Lucas also emphasizes the significance of utilizing rural STEM talent to achieve the goals of the new strategic plan through the Rural STEM Education programs authorized in the CHIPS and Science Act.

“Rural areas represent one of the greatest, yet underutilized, opportunities for STEM education to impact workforce development,” Lucas said. “While the 2023 progress report provides information on the activities of the Interagency Working Group on Inclusion in STEM, it fails to highlight any work done to increase the geographic diversity of STEM talent. However, it is my hope that the new five-year STEM strategy will include a plan to activate the talent within America’s rural communities, as well as across the country.”

The Chairman requests that OSTP provide a briefing to discuss the projected timeline of the strategic plan and answer the letter’s proposed questions no later than May 8, 2024.

Read the full letter to Dr. Prabhakar here