STEM, Robotics and After School Program Stakeholders
Thirteen additional legislative or federal agency stakeholders in STEM education, robotics or after school programs are Congressman Rick Larsen, Congresssman Jim Langevin, Congressman Rob Wittman, Congressman Eric Swalwell, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, Congressman Andre Carson, Congresswoman Nita Lowey, Congressman Don Young, Congresswoman Kamala Harris, Senator Susan Collins, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, and the U.S. Department of Education's STEM programs. Information on these stakeholders has been added to the attached spreadsheet.
Congressman Rick Larsen
- Rick Larsen is a Democrat representing the 2nd Congressional District in the state of Washington.
- Congressman Larsen sponsored the Young Americans' Access to U.S. Manufacturing Jobs Act in 2017 and co-sponsored the Building Blocks of STEM Act in 2018.
- His website states that he is "making sure students have access to more skills training and more opportunity through high-quality K-12 education, access to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in early childhood education and affordable higher education."
Congressman Jim Langevin
- Jim Langevin is a Democrat representing the 2nd Congressional District in the state of Rhode Island.
- Congressman Langevin sponsored the STEM to STEAM Act of 2019, which is focused on adding arts and design education to traditional STEM education based on these subjects playing "an integral role in improving student achievement and advancing the understanding of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)."
- In February 2020, The Science Coalition named him "Champion of Science."
Congressman Rob Wittman
- Rob Wittman is a Republican representing the 1st Congressional District of Virginia.
- Congressman Wittman sponsored the STEM Research and Education Effectiveness and Transparency Act in 2019, which would require the NSF to produce a report on the effectiveness of all STEM programs that are aimed at increasing the participation of underrepresented populations, including STEM education programs.
- He is a member of the House STEM Caucus.
Congressman Eric Swalwell
- Eric Swalwell is a Democrat representing the 15th Congressional District of California.
- Congressman Swalwell is the sponsor of the STEM K to Career Act, introduced in 2019, which includes loan forgiveness for STEM teachers in low income schools, increased tax deductions for educator spending on STEM supplies, and tax credits related to the employment of STEM interns and apprentices.
Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson
- Eddie Bernice Johnson is a Democrat representing the 30th Congressional District in Texas.
- Congresswoman Johnson is the sponsor of the MSI STEM Achievement Act of 2019, which aims to "to improve the quality of undergraduate STEM education and enhance the research capacity at the Nation's HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs."
Congressman Andre Carson
- Andre Carson is a Democrat representing the 7th Congressional District in Indiana.
- Congressman Carson speaks to the importance of after school programs on his website stating, "Afterschool and mentoring programs have been shown to improve educational outcomes, reduced negative behavior, increase school attendance, and improve social and emotional development."
- He sponsored House Resolution 623 during the 115th congressional session, which addressed the needs of children of incarcerated parents, including the need for access to after school programs.
Congresswoman Nita Lowey
- Nita Lowey is a Democrat representing the 17th Congressional District of New York.
- Congresswoman Lowey is the democratic co-chair of the Congressional After School Caucus. The caucus is focused on raising awareness of the importance of after school programs and advocating for the resources needed to provide such programs.
- On the topic of after school programs, she is quoted as saying, "Afterschool programs provide a safe and reliable setting for our students to access mentorship, learning enrichment, nutrition, and physical activity between 3 P.M. and 6 P.M., making afterschool programs essential for working families."
Congressman Don Young
- Don Young is republican representing Alaska.
- Congressman Young is the Republican co-chair of the Congressional After School Caucus.
- He is quoted as having said, "Parents across the country work hard to support their families, and afterschool programming is a critical resource for working families who do not have the option of choosing between their job or their children."
Senator Kamala Harris
- Kamala Harris is a democrat representing the state of California in the senate.
- Senator Harris introduced the Family Friendly Schools Act in 2019, which was aimed at providing high quality enrichment programs for all children at their schools from 8am to 6pm. When she introduced the bill, she called it "an innovative solution that will help reduce the burden of child care on working families."
Senator Susan Collins
- Susan Collins is a republican representing Maine in the senate.
- Senator Collins sponsored a resolution in 2019 to designate October 24, 2019, as "Lights on After School," which celebrated after school programs. She has been quoted as saying, "Afterschool programs provide an enriching environment for students once the school day has ended. By engaging young people in academic and physical activities, these programs enhance students’ education and help promote healthy habits."
- She is a member of the Senate Afterschool Caucus.
Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur
- Marcy Kaptur is a democrat representing Ohio's 9th congressional district.
- Congresswoman Kaptur sponsored the Coast Guard Youth STEM Programs Expansion Act in 2019, which would authorize a partnership between the Coat Guard and the Department of Education to improve STEM education in elementary and secondary schools.
- She was quoted as having said, "Now more than ever the innovation capacity of the United States—our prosperity and security—depends on an effective and inclusive STEM education ecosystem and workforce."
U.S. Department of Education STEM Programs
- The U.S. Department of Education has a variety of programs and initiatives focused on STEM Education.
- Many department offices within the Department of Education support STEM programs, including the Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development; the Office of Career, Adult, and Technical Education; the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education; the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services; the Office of Postsecondary Education; the Office of Educational Technology; Office of English Language Acquisition; and the Institute of Educational Sciences.
- In fiscal year 2018, the U.S. Department of Education invested $279 million in STEM education.
National Science Foundation
- The National Science Foundation is a federal agency focused on promoting the advancement of science within the U.S.
- The NSF has several programs focused on K-12 STEM Education, undergraduate STEM education and graduate STEM education.
Five bills introduced in congress in the last two years related to STEM education, robotics and/or after school programs are the Building Blocks of STEM Act, the STEM to STEAM Act, the STEM Research and Education Effectiveness and Transparency Act, the STEM K to Career Act, and the Family Friendly Schools Act. Only the Building Blocks of STEM Act has thus far been signed into law. The details of each are outlined below.
Building Blocks of STEM Act
- The Building Blocks of STEM Act is a "bill to direct the National Science Foundation to support STEM education research focused on early childhood."
- The bill requires the Director of the National Science Foundation to consider the age distribution of research on STEM education when awarding grants under the Discovery Research PreK–12 program to ensure that sufficient funds are being allocated to research on early childhood STEM education.
- It also amended the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act to further support the education of female students in STEM and computer science education.
- This was a bipartisan bill sponsored by Democrat Jacky Rosen with eight co-sponsors, including Democrats Catherine Cortez Masto, Brian Schatz, Richard Blumenthal and Ron Wyden and Republicans Marsha Blackburn, Shelley Capito, Deb Fischer, and John Hoeven.
- The Building Blocks of STEM Act was introduced to the House of Representatives on March 11, 2019, and passed by the House on July 23, 2019. It was then introduced in the Senate on July 24, 2019, and passed the Senate on September 26, 2019. It was signed into law by President Trump on December 24, 2019.
STEM to STEAM Act
- If passed, the STEM to STEAM Act will "amend the STEM Education Act of 2015 to require the National Science Foundation to promote the integration of art and design in STEM education."
- The purpose of the bill is to promote creativity and innovation in STEM education by integrating art and design into STEM programs.
- The bill is sponsored by Democrat Jim Langevin and co-sponsored by Democrat Suzanne Bonamici and Republican Elise Stefanik.
- The STEM to STEAM Act was introduced in the House on June 18, 2019, and referred to the Subcommittee on Research and Technology. No further actions have been taken on the bill.
STEM Research and Education Effectiveness and Transparency Act
- The STEM Research and Education Effectiveness and Transparency Act's purpose is "to provide for a report on broadening participation in certain National Science Foundation research and education programs, to collect data on Federal research grants to science agencies."
- If passed, the bill would require the Director of the National Science Foundation to produce the required report, to include the identification of metrics for measuring performance of these programs, student outcome data and recommendations, within 12 months.
- This bill is sponsored by Republican Robert Wittman and co-sponsored by Republican Scott Tipton with no Democratic sponsors or co-sponsors.
- The bill was introduced in the House of Representatives on January 16, 2019, and referred to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. No further action has been taken on the bill.
STEM K to Career Act
- The STEM K to Career Act's main purpose is to provide for a loan forgiveness program for teachers in the STEM fields teaching in elementary and secondary schools with a low-income population of more than 30%.
- The bill establishes a tiered rate of forgiveness with teachers teaching 5 years in a qualified school having 100% of their loans forgiven.
- This bill also provides for an increase in the allowable tax deduction for STEM-related supplies purchased by an educator to $250 per year with a provision for increasing this amount based on inflation in future years.
- Finally, the bill creates tax credits for eligible employers who employ STEM interns or apprentices.
- The STEM K to Career Act is a sponsored by Democrat Eric Swalwell and co-sponsored by ten additional Democrats, including Steve Cohen, Ruben Gallego, Sheila Jackson Lee, Gregory Meeks, Bobby Rush, Bennie Thompson, Sanford Bishop, Sean Maloney, Tim Ryan, and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell. There are no Republican sponsors or co-sponsors.
- Earlier versions of this bill were introduced in the 114th Congress on April 29, 2015, and in the 115th Congress on May 24, 2018, neither of which was passed. The most recent version was introduced in the House of Representatives on June 24, 2019, and referred to both the Committee on Ways and Means, and the Committee on Education and Labor. No further action has been taken on the bill.
Family Friendly Schools Act
- The Family Friendly Schools Act would create a grant program within the Department of Education to support the creation of programs in 500 elementary schools to extend the school day to 6pm in an effort to align school schedules with the typical work schedule in the U.S.
- While this act does not specifically call the programs after school programs, it is included because it requires that the number of hours teachers and school staff are required work not be increased by the implementation of the program and that the organizations receiving the grants provide "academic, athletic, extracurricular, enrichment, or community-based learning opportunities" from 8am to 6pm, which is similar to services offered by after school programs. Therefore, we believe that, if passed, this act will essentially create a grant program to provide after school programming at 500 schools.
- The bill would also create additional grants for expanding or enhancing summer education programs and other programs that provide services outside of school hours.
- The Family Friendly Schools Act is sponsored by Democrat Kamala Harris with 5 Democrats as co-sponsors, including Michael Bennet, Richard Blumenthal, Sherrod Brown, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Jeff Berkley. There are no republican sponsors or co-sponsors.
- This bill was introduced in the House of Representatives on November 5, 2019, and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. No further action has been taken on the bill.