US ED Issues Guidance on Leveraging Federal Funding to Support STEM Education

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has released guidance on how federal formula grant programs such as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act can support innovative Pre-K-12 STEM education strategies to improve instruction and student outcomes, especially for historically underserved students.

In a Dear Colleague letter to states, school districts, schools, and education partners, the ED outlined examples of allowable uses of federal funds that can support the expansion of STEM experiences to improve student achievement in the 2016-17 school year. The examples include recommendations for both supporting educators and improving access for students in STEM disciplines. Specifically, the examples fall into three categories:

  1. Increase students’ equitable access to STEM courses and experiences, including out-of-school programs, STEM-themed schools and career pathways.
  2. Support educators’ knowledge and expertise in STEM disciplines through recruitment, preparation, support, and retention strategies.
  3. Increase student access to materials and equipment needed to support inquiry-based pedagogy and active learning.

View the Dear Colleague letter on the ED website.

Excerpted from the April 13, 2016 ED press release U.S. Department of Education Issues Guidance for Schools on Leveraging Federal Funding to Support STEM Education