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  • Senate Advances Every Child Achieves Act with Engineering Provisions

    Senate Advances Every Child Achieves Act with Engineering Provisions

Senate Advances Every Child Achieves Act with Engineering Provisions

Monday, July 20, 2015

In mid-July, the U.S. Senate considered 78 floor amendments to the bipartisan reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as No Child Left Behind. The National Center for Technological Literacy® worked hard with many Congressional STEM champions to incorporate provisions into the base bill, S.1177, the Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA), which advance K-12 engineering and computer science education. That bill just passed the Senate 81-17.

U.S. Senators Patty Murray, Al Franken, Kirsten Gillibrand, Mark Kirk, Steve Daines, and Kelly Ayotte and U.S. Representatives Paul Tonko, Joe Kennedy, III, and David McKinley led support for these important STEM provisions, including:

--Title I-B provisions related to challenging state standards and assessments for science that allow states to use funds to integrate engineering design skills and practices.

--Title II-A provisions regarding state and local use of funds to develop and provide professional development and instructional materials in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects, including computer science.

--Title II-E section reconstituting the Mathematics and Science Partnerships grant program as an all-inclusive STEM program, including computer science and allowing non-profits to compete directly for these grants.

--Title IV-B provisions regarding STEM programming as an allowable use of funds under the 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant program.

--Provisions of the STEM Gateways Act to increase access to STEM education opportunities for female students, underrepresented minority students, English learners, children with disabilities and economically disadvantaged students in school, out-of-school and informal learning environments.

The House of Representatives passed their version of a revised ESEA, H.R.5, the Student Success Act, on July 8. Now, the two bills will go to conference to hammer out the significant differences. With agreement, the compromise must then be passed by both chambers and signed by President Obama. That process is expected to take months. Still, this is remarkable progress as the reauthorization is long overdue.