Federal Relations

Overview of STEM Education Bills Recently Introduced

Several bills have been introduced this summer surrounding the issue of STEM Education from elementary school through college, with the aim of increasing access for students to these subjects and preparing them for the 21st century workforce. Below is a quick overview and analysis of a few of these bills that we have been keeping our eye on.

HR 2159 – 21st Century STEM Competitive Jobs Act
Sponsor: Representative Bill Foster (D-IL)
Introduced: 5/23/13
Current Status: Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce
Summary: This legislation aims to solve the problem that many employers face, which is that students are not adequately prepared for what the field needs. The goal is to encourage schools and employers to partner together to develop curriculum and program metrics, provide dual high school and college credit, and include an internship or apprenticeship as part of the program. The bill would provide competitive grants to school districts who collaborate with employers.

Foster Press Release

HR 2592 – STEM Innovation Networks Act of 2013
Sponsor: Representative Mike Honda (D-CA)
Introduced: 6/28/13
Current Status: Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce
Summary: Similar to Representative Foster’s bill, this piece of legislation also encourages public-private partnerships and creates a grant program to promote this. In addition, the bill also supports the development of teachers who prepare students for post-secondary schooling and employment in STEM fields.

**Washington Congressmen Rick Larsen and Jim McDermott are Cosponsors of this bill.

Honda Press Release

S 1407 – Computer Science Education and Jobs Act of 2013
Sponsor: Senator Bob Casey (D-PA)
Introduced: 7/31/13
Current Status: Referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Summary: This is a bipartisan bill that Senator Casey introduced with Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) to address the issue of a lack of computer science education in K-12 schools. The Senators’ claim that computer science is the primary driver for job growth in the STEM fields, and increasing access and exposing children to computer science education at the elementary and secondary school levels will pique their interest and position themselves for high-skilled, good-paying jobs in the future. The legislation aims to clarify federal policies to make sure that computer science programs in states are eligible for federal funding.

Casey Press Release