How the New Budget Funds STEM in ESSA


With a new federal spending bill signed into law on March 23, 2018, STEM advocates are celebrating increased funding for programs and initiatives in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Several provisions in ESSA allow—and even encourage—the use of federal funds to support STEM education.

The statutory language itself frequently calls out STEM education, and guidance released by USED in April 2017, Resources for STEM Education, which was intended to “help SEAs, LEAs, and their partners better understand how to use Federal funds to support innovative, equity-focused pre-kindergarten through grade 12 (PreK-12) STEM education strategies,” points to provisions that could be used to support STEM education without explicit identifying STEM. See Achieve’s brief, Leveraging ESSA to Promote Science and STEM Education in States, to learn more.

Here are the new funding levels for STEM-related provisions in ESSA compared to the previous funding levels passed by Congress in May 2017. An overview table is here.