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A Congressional Success for Rural STEM Education

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Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation, endorsed by AACTE—the Rural STEM Education Research Act (HR 210.) The legislation supports research and development to increase access to STEM education opportunities in rural schools and to provide teachers with the resources they need to teach more effectively.

The bill also directs the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop a prize competition to advance research and development of creative technologies for expanded broadband access. This bill further provides for assessments of Federal investments in rural STEM education to be conducted by the National Academies and the Government Accountability Office. The bipartisan legislation was introduced by House Science Committee Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK) and passed the House with bipartisan support.  It is unclear if the Senate will approve the bill.

After reviewing the legislation, AACTE reached out to Chairwoman Johnson’s staff to request being included as a supporter of the bill.  AACTE has endorsed additional legislation, including a bill introduced by Senator Corey Booker (D-NJ), Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García (D-IL), and Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (D-CT), which seeks to diversify the educator workforce.  AACTE encourages Congress to pass these bills as soon as possible.

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