Coalition Statement on Senate ESEA Bill, Franken-Kirk-Murray Bipartisan STEM Amendment

The Coalition released the following statements on the Every Child Achieves Act and Franken-Kirk-Murray Amendment to the Senate’s ESEA bill:

Every Child Achieves Act: While the Every Child Achieves Act retains the federal requirement for states to measure student achievement in math and science, it places no funding priority on the STEM subjects and would eliminate the Math and Science Partnership program at the Department of Education, the sole existing program at the Department focused exclusively on improving learning in the STEM subjects.  Further, it does not establish any significant linkage between K-12 educational initiatives and critical workforce needs.  While we appreciate the goal of providing states with increased flexibility, we urge the Senate HELP Committee to address these shortcomings in a bipartisan manner at this week’s markup.

In today’s economy every student needs to have a strong foundation in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects in order to land and succeed in virtually any job.   Only 45 percent of U.S. high school graduates are ready for college work in math and only 30 percent are ready in science.  This disturbing reality should be addressed in our nation’s landmark federal K-12 education law.

Franken-Kirk-Murray Amendment:  We support the bipartisan Franken-Kirk-Murray amendments that would provide each state with formula-based funding to support partnerships between local schools, businesses, universities, and non-profit organizations to improve student learning in the critical science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects. Each state would choose how to spend and prioritize these funds, which can support a wide range of STEM activities from in-depth teacher training, to engineering design competitions, to improving the diversity of the STEM workforce.