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US Dept of Education - 2015 Budget for STEM Education

According to the U.S. Department of Education, only 16% of American high school seniors are proficient in mathematics and interested in pursuing a career in STEM field. Among industrialized countries, the United States ranks 17th in science and only 25th in mathematics. The need for change is recognized and a plan to create and implement a united, national approach to promoting and expanding STEM education nationwide.

New and repurposed monies are bolstering several initiatives to improve both the teaching and learning of STEM subjects in schools across the country. The 2015 budget totals $2.9 billion to be invested in the future of STEM students and educators; this is 3.7 percent greater than the budget approved for 2014. The President’s Fiscal Year 2015 Budget cites the STEM Innovation Proposal as including $170 million in new funding that will be used to “train the next generation of innovators.” This funding is spread across three main programs:

  • National STEM Master Teacher Corps ($20 million): This program will recognize, refine and disperse models to help America's elite math and science teachers transition from proficient teachers to community leaders and STEM education advocates. The program will recruit, acknowledge and benefit a national corps of outstanding STEM teachers to help advance STEM education and learning in their schools and communities.

  • STEM Teacher Pathways ($40 million): In an effort to train 100,0000 effective STEM educators over the next 10 years, this program will grant competitive awards to top-notch institutions that recruit and train exemplary STEM educators for high-need schools.  

  • STEM Innovation Networks ($110 million): The largest of the three, this program was designed to help promote the adoption of practices within P-12 education that will boost the number of students interested in and prepared for postsecondary education and careers in STEM fields. School districts that partner with colleges, universities and other regional institutions in this effort will be awarded grants to help cover the associated costs.

The recognition of the need for further STEM funding and actual allocation of those funds is very encouraging. As this initiative gains momentum, we are sure to see an improvement not only in the education of our students nationwide but also the future of our country as those students move on to work and innovate in STEM fields upon graduation. For further information on the proposal, click here.

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