Group of 19 Bipartisan Senators Urge Support for STEM in ESEA

Sen. Franken (MN), the Democratic lead on the letter to congressional education committee leaders, recently visited St. Cloud Community and Technical College to discuss legislation help local businesses close the STEM “skills gap.”

A bi-partisan group of 19 US Senators joined together in support of keeping key STEM provisions from the Senate’s version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in the conferenced legislation. This letter comes in tandem with a similar bi-partisan letter signed by 34 House of Representative Members sent in October.

In the letter, the bi-partisan group stresses the importance of Math and Science Partnerships in the states, along with teacher professional development that is so critical to perpetuating modern STEM education in schools.

…Our amendment would reauthorize and modernize the Department of Education’s existing Math and Science Partnerships (MSP). This is a proven program that aims to increase the academic achievement of students in mathematics and science by enhancing the content knowledge and teaching skills of K-12 educators…This provision would provide mentorship and leadership opportunities for outstanding STEM teachers and provide financial compensation to help keep these excellent teachers in the classroom.
Sen. Kirk, the Republican lead on the letter to congressional education committee leaders, joins students from the Lindblom Math and Science Academy of Chicago in the “Space Visualization Laboratory” of the Adler Planetarium.

So far, more than 100 organizations have publicly supported making STEM a key priority under the rewrite of the law:

House-Senate staff-level negotiations over the ESEA bill have reached a critical juncture and the fate of the major STEM provisions in the Senate bill will shortly be decided. It appears that a final agreement on a bipartisan bill is within reach.

See the Full Bi-Partisan Senate Letter to the House and Senate Education Committee Chairs and Ranking Members

The STEM Education Coalition is an alliance of more than 600 business, education, and professional organizations that is dedicated to elevating STEM education as a national priority.  It is based in Washington, DC