Positive Signs for STEM Education in Federal FY19 Budget

President Trump committed federal dollars to key budget line items SWE has been advocating for since the proposal of the FY18 budget in early 2017 and the FY19 budget earlier this year.
Capitol Hill SWE’s Advocacy Contributes to Increase in STEM Education Funding

With the passage into law of the FY19 (10/1/2018 – 9/30/2019) spending bill that will fund Department of Education, Labor and Health and Human Services, President Trump committed federal dollars to key budget line items SWE has been advocating for since the proposal of the FY18 budget in early 2017 and the FY19 budget earlier this year, respectively.

The package increases education spending; the Department of Education would get $581 more than in FY 2018. In addition, the bill rejects the spending cuts proposed by the White House earlier this year. Significant line items the administration originally slated for elimination included the Title IV, Part A block grant (the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grant program), Title II aid for educator professional development, and the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, which supports afterschool programs.

In some excellent news for STEM funding, the final passed version gave an increase to Title IV, Part A, which will see an increase of $70 million, and afterschool investments will grow by $10 million. In addition, Title I would see a $100 million increase, bringing its total to $15.9 billion, and career and technical education would see a $70 million increase in funding from the federal government.

SWE advocated for flat or increased funding for many of these critical education line items during its 2018 Congressional Outreach event in March of this year.

Other Key Legislation of Note:

Thanks to the STEM Education Coalition and Bose Washington Partners for providing the foundation and data for these reports:

  • The Department of Education has rolled out its latest round of grant awards for the Education Innovation and Research program, which was the largest competitive grant program the Administration was targeted to focus on STEM activities as a result of President Trump’s September 2017 Presidential Directive on STEM education to the Department.  An early scan of the funded projects shows that 10 of the 18 new awards has a major STEM education focus, which is a notable shift from the 2017 awards, which had a minimal STEM focus.  All totaled, roughly $150 million in federal funding was awarded to the 18 grantees announced so far.  You can see the raw information here.
  • During the first week of September, the the House of Representatives unanimously approved H.R. 5509, the Innovations in Mentoring, Training, and Apprenticeships Act., sponsored by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and cosponsored by Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas). The bill directs the National Science Foundation (NSF) to provide awards to academic institutions for innovative approaches to STEM education, specifically in the areas of highly skilled apprenticeships  and workforce development, mentorship, and two-year degree programs in STEM subjects. You can see the bill language here, and more details here