Today, during the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee markup, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-Westlake Village) offered an amendment to increase National Science Foundation (NSF) funding for STEM education, research, and teacher-training programs.
"I urge my colleagues to support my amendment to increase our investment in America's future STEM teachers and STEM leaders," said Congresswoman Brownley. "Better and more highly-qualified teachers will help inspire students and lead them to careers that will inspire American innovation, and maintain our global economic competitiveness."
According to the U.S. Department of Education, only 16 percent of American high school seniors are proficient in mathematics and interested in a STEM career. Moreover, the U.S. is falling behind internationally, ranking 25th in mathematics and 17th in science among industrialized nations.
Ventura County's community colleges and California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI) use NSF programs like the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, which awards scholarships to students who pursue STEM degrees and who commit to teach in high-need school districts after they graduate.
All three community colleges in California's 26th Congressional District and CSUCI are designated Hispanic-Serving Institutions, so it is critical that NSF has the resources to engage underrepresented communities in STEM fields and careers. CSUCI also receives funding through the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Program, which broadens participation in STEM among minority students.
"NSF funding for STEM programs at schools like CSUCI and our community colleges is critical because our ability to compete in the 21st century global economy depends on it," Congresswoman Brownley said.