Washington, D.C. - The House of Representatives today unanimously passed the Senate amendment to the STEM Education Act (H.R. 1020), a bipartisan bill introduced by Science, Space, and Technology Committee Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.). The bill strengthens ongoing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education efforts at federal science agencies and ensures computer science is included in these efforts as a subject that builds on the traditional STEM subjects. The bill now heads to the president’s desk for signature and enactment.
Chairman Smith: “A well-educated and trained STEM workforce ensures our future economic prosperity. This means motivating more American students to study science and engineering so they will want to pursue these careers. A healthy STEM workforce that is literate in all STEM subjects, including computer science, is critical to America’s ability to create jobs and compete in the world. I thank my colleague Rep. Esty for working with me on this important bipartisan legislation that will help prepare our students to thrive in a technology-based economy.”
Rep. Esty: “More and more jobs of the 21st century require science, technology, engineering, and math skills. Final passage of the bipartisan STEM Education Act demonstrates that we can come together to help our children thrive and to help ensure that they can be competitive in a global economy. I hear from manufacturers, high-tech companies, and small businesses across all sectors that struggle to find workers with the necessary technical and critical problem-solving skills to fill jobs in demand. I am grateful to my colleagues in the House and Senate for their support, and I look forward to this bill reaching the President’s desk and becoming law.”
Summary of Major Provisions in the STEM Education Act of 2015:
- Expands existing federal grants and programs related to STEM education to include computer science education.
- Supports competitive merit-reviewed grants for informal STEM education, which is learning outside of the classroom at places like museums, science centers, and afterschool programs.
- Amends the National Science Foundation Noyce Master Teaching Fellowship program to allow teachers in pursuit of a master’s degree to apply for the grant and explicitly include computer science teachers. The STEM Education Act would allow more teachers the opportunity to compete for the grant, better reflecting the current reality facing our schools, especially in high-need areas.
- No new or additional spending is authorized in this bill.