Summary: S.867 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.867. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (03/25/2015)

STEM Education for the Global Economy Act of 2015

Amends title IV (21st Century Schools) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to create a new part D (Improving Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Instruction and Student Achievement).

Directs the Secretary of Education, under subpart 1 (Improving STEM Instruction and Student Achievement) of part D, to allot formula grants to states and, through them, award competitive subgrants to high-need local educational agencies (LEAs), educational service agencies serving such LEAs, or certain outside partners of those entities to improve preschool and elementary and secondary school science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Defines those "outside partners" as nonprofit or community based organizations, businesses, institutions of higher education (IHEs), or educational service agencies that have expertise and a demonstrated record of success in improving STEM learning and engagement.

Allots such grants to states pursuant to a formula that takes into account each state's share of elementary and secondary school students and each state's share of such students who are low-income students.

Awards the grants to states on a competitive basis if this subpart's funding falls below $300 million. Authorizes the Secretary to award capacity-building grants to states to help them qualify for competitive grants.

Requires the grants to be used to: (1) increase the access to STEM courses of students who belong to groups that are underrepresented in STEM fields, (2) implement evidence-based programs of instruction based on high-quality standards and assessments in the STEM subjects, (3) provide professional development and other support systems to STEM educators, and (4) provide technical assistance to subgrantees and other high-need schools and LEAs to improve students' STEM achievement and narrow achievement gaps.

Requires the subgrants to be used for activities that include: (1) recruiting, supporting, evaluating, and training STEM teachers; (2) developing and improving high-quality STEM curricula and instructional supports to improve student achievement in those subjects; and (3) integrating STEM instruction with instruction in reading, English language arts, or other academic subjects.

Directs states to require subgrantees to obtain a commitment from one or more outside partners to match, from nonfederal funds, at least 15% of the subgrant funds.

Directs the Secretary to establish performance metrics and use those metrics to evaluate subpart 1 activities and identify best practices to improve STEM instruction.

Directs the Secretary, under subpart 2 (STEM Master Teacher Corps Program) of part D, to award competitive matching grants to consortia of high-need LEAs or states, acting in partnership with IHEs or nonprofit organizations to establish a STEM Master Teacher Corps program.

Requires grantees to:

  • select exemplary elementary and secondary school STEM teachers for membership in the STEM Master Teacher Corps;
  • provide those teachers with compensation that supplements their base salaries, with higher compensation going to those teaching at high-need public schools;
  • provide, and track the effectiveness of, research-based training for Corps members;
  • provide discretionary resources for Corps members at high-need schools to use;
  • help coordinate instructional leadership and mentoring roles for Corps members;
  • facilitate efforts by Corps members to inform STEM education policy at the national, state, and local levels; and
  • help defray the costs associated with affording Corps members the time to fulfill their duties.

Gives grant priority to applicants that intend to include: (1) large numbers of teachers in the STEM Master Teacher Corps; and (2) rural schools, particularly high-need rural schools, in the area they serve.

Requires grantees to ensure that at least 75% of their STEM Master Teacher Corps are teachers at high-need schools.

Authorizes the Secretary to award planning grants to such consortia to make plans to establish the STEM Master Teacher Corps program.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) establish performance metrics to evaluate the program; (2) identify optimal strategies for designing and advancing the program; and (3) identify best practices for developing, supporting, and retaining STEM teachers based on lessons learned from the program.