Greetings STEM Ed Coalition Affiliates and Colleagues-
Some very important STEM related items to note today as we wrap up 2011 and look ahead to 2012. For additional updates, make sure to check us out on Twitter @StemEdCoalition.
First, the final Omnibus conference agreement that passed Congress in mid December for FY2012 federal funding included $150 million for the Department of Education’s Math and Science Partnership program, meaning the program has survived FY2012. Although this is roughly $25 million below the FY2011 funding level, keep in mind that the House of Representatives proposed to eliminate this program. We would like to thank the ALMOST 2000 PEOPLE who used the STEM Education Coalition Legislative Action website and sent letters to the Hill, asking lawmakers to make STEM education funding a national priority and to support this program.http://www.congressweb.com/cweb2/index.cfm/siteid/stemedcoalition
Federal STEM Programs:
As expected the Office of Science and Technology Policy interagency Committee on STEM Education (CoSTEM) has issued their detailed inventory of Federal agencies’ spending on STEM education (link to report is below). The inventory found that Federal agencies are making some 252 distinct investments in STEM education for a total budgetary commitment of $3.4 billion. From the report: “Our analysis indicates that the critical issue related to Federal investments in STEM education is not whether the total number of investments is too large or whether today’s programs are overly redundant with one another. Rather, the primary issue is how to strategically focus the limited Federal dollars available so they will have a more significant impact in areas of national priority.” The report suggests there may be a number of possible approaches to improving the Federal STEM education portfolio including: consolidating programs, creating joint solicitations across agencies, and developing structures and procedures for sharing program data and performance measurement and evaluation tools. A five year Federal STEM education strategic plan that will “help Federal agencies contribute to improved STEM education in an effective and well-coordinated manner” is expected out in early 2012. Stay tuned.http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/costem__federal_stem_education_portfolio_report.pdf
National Governors Association (NGA) Report on STEM:
Last week the NGA released Building a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Education Agenda, focused on strengthening science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. Issues discussed in the 44 page report include: Goals of the STEM Agenda; What the STEM Agenda is Important; Weak Links in the System; Implementing a State STEM Agenda; and Moving Forward. Stay tuned.
NGA Report on Teacher Compensation:
The NGA 17 page issue brief, New Models of Teacher Compensation: Lessons Learned from Six States, is based on the discussions during a policy academy with governors and state leaders. The report includes key recommendations that governors and other state leaders should consider when developing new teacher compensation systems.
Key Congressional Leaders Express Concerns about the Grant Act.
Representatives Rush Holt (D-NJ) and David Price (D-NC) have sent a letter to House leadership outlining their concerns about provisions in H.R. 3433, the Grant Reform and New Transparency Act of 2011, which call for greater transparency and accountability in the federal peer review process. “The Grant Act poses a significant threat to the research and innovation system that produce economic drivers because it includes provisions that undermine the peer review process and attack intellectual property rights.” The letter is attached. Read more about H.R. 3433, the “Grant Reform and New Transparency Act of 2011” http://www.aip.org/fyi/2011/143.html
Thank you for your support of STEM education this year! Wishing you all Happy Holidays and a Peaceful New Year.
-Jodi and James
Chair, STEM Education Coalition
Assistant Executive Director, Legislative and Public Affairs
National Science Teachers Association
1840 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 312-9214 (office)
STEM Education Coalition
700 North One Lafayette Center – 120 20th Street N.W. – Washington, D.C. 20036 – (202) 223-1187