Today, Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX) announced his support for the Administration's new initiative to dedicate nearly $100 million to support Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) teachers, as well as a proposal to create a national Science, Math, Technology and Engineering (STEM) Master Teacher Corps. School districts in Texas will be eligible to apply for funding from the Teacher Incentive Fund to implement high-quality plans to establish career ladders that identify, develop and leverage highly-effective STEM teachers.
"In order to make sure that students are provided the tools they need to compete in a twenty-first century economy, we must enhance and invest in STEM instruction. By ensuring high quality and modernized instruction in the STEM fields, we're making a smart investment not only in our students' education, but in our nation's continued economic competitiveness," said Cuellar. "Dedicating additional resources toward STEM teachers and creating a STEM Master Teacher Corps is key to keeping our country on the cutting edge of these growing fields."
The deadline for school districts to apply for funds under the Teacher Incentive Fund is July 27th. Interested school districts will compete for funding to implement high-quality plans that identify and compensate highly effective STEM teachers.
"With nearly 30 school districts in the nation already signaling their interest in these funds for STEM teachers, I encourage our local school districts to move quickly to apply to strengthen teaching in these growing STEM fields and fuel American competiveness and innovation," Cuellar. "The importance of the STEM fields to our national and global economy is only growing, and I want to ensure that our communities are not left out."
As part of the Administration's 2013 budget proposal, it will create a national STEM Master Teacher Corps. The Corps will begin in 50 locations across the country, and, over the next four years, expand to include 10,000 of the best STEM teachers in the nation. The Corps will be supported by the Department of Education as part of their RESPECT project, which stands for Recognizing Educational Success, Professional Excellence, and Collaborative Teaching. The RESPECT project is a $5 billion program to re-envision the teaching profession to make it more responsive to the needs of the 21st century.