Sens. Franken, Merkley Introduce Bill to Promote STEM Education
Senators Say Future U.S. Jobs Will Need Dramatically More Workers with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Skills
Today, U.S. Sens. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) said that the nation’s ability to create jobs and compete in an increasingly global economy will depend on producing a workforce trained in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), and they introduced legislation that will increase student access to STEM programs and will invest in recruiting, training, and supporting STEM teachers.
“Our nation’s future competitiveness in the global economy depends on how well we prepare our students in STEM fields, and right now we’re lagging behind.” said Sen. Franken. “As I travel around Minnesota, I hear from our high-tech businesses that jobs are going unfilled because people don’t have the technological skill sets they need to fill them. This legislation will help maintain our nation’s competitive technological edge.”
The legislation that the senators introduced today will help improve student achievement in STEM education by improving instruction in STEM subjects.
The legislation aims to:
- Improve student engagement in, and increase student access to, courses in STEM subjects;
- Recruit, train, and support highly-qualified and highly-effective teachers in STEM subjects;
- Close student achievement gaps, and prepare more students to be on track to college and career readiness and success in these subjects.
Sens. Franken and Merkley are both members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and will press to include the measure when the committee begins to rewrite the No Child Left Behind Act later this year.