STEM Ed Update: Sequester, New STEM Legislation, Upcoming Events
Greetings STEM Ed Coalition Affiliates and Colleagues-
As we near the fall Presidential election and what is sure to be a very busy and unpredictable “lame duck” session of Congress that will immediately follow, we pass along a series of updates on issues that will impact the STEM education community.
The Looming Budget Sequester
As a part of the Congressional debt limit deal reached last summer, mandatory reductions in federal discretionary spending levels are set to take effect in January of 2013. Unless Congress takes further action, non-defense discretionary federal spending – including funding for nearly every education and STEM-related programs – will be subject to an approximately 9 percent across-the-board reduction. There is a wide range of speculation about whether or how Congress and the Administration will act to address this looming budget crisis that will occur shortly after the fall elections and here are several resources with further information and guidance. Our Coalition has been continually engaged with our policymakers on Capitol Hill and in the Administration to ensure the impacts of potential sequestration cuts are clearly understood.
Rep. Hanna Introduces Bill to Create Tax Incentive for STEM Majors
Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY) recently introduced the STEM Education Opportunity Act (H.R. 6325), bipartisan legislation which would provide tax benefits for those paying for higher education in a STEM field. The STEM Ed Coalition’s Leadership Council worked with Hanna to develop and support this new policy proposal. If your organization is interested in being added to the list of supporting organizations please contact the Coalition.
Rep. Honda Introduces Legislation to Boost State STEM Networks
Introduced last week, the STEM Network Act (H.R. 6517), which would provide a system of federal grants to support state-based networks focused on improving student performance in STEM subjects. If you are interested to learn more about the bill or to lend your organizations support to Rep. Honda’s legislation please contact the Coalition.
Business Alliance Releases State-by-State STEM Vital Signs
Change the Equation has released the 2012 STEM Vital Signs, critical state and national data on the current condition of STEM teaching and learning. The 2012 Vital Signs provide state and national information on the demand for STEM skills and knowledge, student achievement in STEM, academic standards and expectations, access to STEM skills and knowledge, teacher preparation, and school support. The reports provide a wealth of key data that teachers, administrators, and others can customize and use to advocate and support the teaching and learning of science/STEM in your school/district/state.
Upcoming Event: Brookings to Host September 27th Event on STEM Education and U.S. Competitiveness
On September 27, the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings will host a forum on STEM education and immigration reforms and how these policy innovations can recharge American competitiveness and economic opportunity for current and future generations of workers. Brad Smith, executive vice president and general counsel of Microsoft, will deliver keynote remarks. Moderated by Vice President Darrell West, a panel of experts will discuss policy changes in education, immigration, among a variety of other areas, to enhance the American workforce’s competitiveness in a global economy.
-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)