Sending Office: Honorable Stephen Knight
Sent By:
Adam.Brooks@mail.house.gov

Cosponsor the STEM and Trade in Schools Act
Sponsored by Rep. Steve Knight, Rep. Jimmy Panetta, and Rep. Jeff Denham
Deadline to be an original cosponsor: COB on Wednesday, July 18

Dear Colleague,

We invite you to become an original cosponsor of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) and Trade in Schools Act, legislation that would give K-12 STEM teachers new tools to train for the classroom and incentives to stay in school
systems.

The STEM teacher shortage is a national issue. U.S. Department of Education statistics show persistent and widespread shortages in all teaching areas, but surveys of school districts across the country indicate that openings in math, physics, and chemistry
are among the hardest to fill.[1] When qualified teachers can’t be hired, subjects will either not be taught or not be taught well. The effects are reflected in our poor performance in math and science in
international rankings: 31st in math and 19th in science out of 35 developed countries in the latest PISA assessment.[2] This will later play out with skilled labor shortages when baby
boomers, who make up much of our technical and engineering workforce, retire in the coming years.

The STEM and Trade in Schools Act addresses STEM education challenges in two ways. First, it clarifies that TEACH Grants, one of the nation’s primary incentives to turn students into teachers, can be applied to Career Technical Education (CTE) credential
courses while they are also pursuing teaching credentials at TEACH Grant-eligible institutions. This will produce more classroom-ready teachers who have experience in the skilled-labor fields our economy needs.

Second, the bill allows local education agencies (LEAs) greater control in the establishment of STEM Master Teacher Corps, local teacher mentorship communities led by the nation’s best teachers, which will be used to reward the profession, provide continued
learning opportunities for teachers, and help school districts retain their best performers. The bill also requires LEAs that apply for STEM Master Teacher Corps funds to have private sector advisory committees to keep their practice aligned with local economies.
The Corps was first proposed in 2010 by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. It was authorized in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015 but has not yet been implemented.

The STEM  and Trade in Schools Act Act will be introduced on July 19th. If you are interested in cosponsoring this legislation, or have any questions about its content, please contact Adam Brooks (Knight) at
adam.brooks@mail.house.gov or John Assini (Panetta) at
John.Assini@mail.house.gov.

Sincerely,

Steve Knight                                       Jimmy Panetta                                     Jeff Denham           

Member of Congress                           Member of Congress                           Member of Congress

 


[1] Marder, Michael. “Is STEM Education in Permanent Crisis?” Education Week. October 25, 2016.

https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2016/10/26/is-stem-education-in-permanent-crisis.html
.

[2] Limoges, Sophie, Cassandra Davis, and Rose Bolognini.
Country of Note: Key Findings from PISA 2015 for the United States. Report. OECD. 2016.

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