Government Relations

Government Relations Legislative Update

Government Relations Legislative Update

Updates on state and federal issues relating to the UW System.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Federal Update for January 12, 2012

U.S. federal agencies have a total budgetary commitment of approximately $3.4 billion in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education initiatives across 252 distinct "investment" efforts according to a recent report from the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), National Science and technology Council, entitled, "The Federal Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Portfolio." The full report can be found here:

There was a congressional requirement in the reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act for the administration to catalog all federal STEM efforts, analyze them for duplication and overlap, and then develop a five-year strategic plan to improve the effectiveness of these efforts. The report is an outcome of this requirement.  The strategic plan is scheduled for release in early 2012.

Select findings include:

• Of the $3.4 billion expended by federal agencies on STEM education, 28% targets the specific workforce needs of the science mission agencies, reflecting their varying workforce needs;

• The remaining 72% is spent on broader STEM education efforts and is dominated by the National Science Foundation and the Department of Education;

• Approximately $1.1 billion of the total targets groups underrepresented in STEM education (a broad category that includes ethnic and racial minority groups, women and girls, the economically disadvantaged, persons with disabilities, and those from rural or urban communities). This is a secondary goal of most all programs;

• "Teacher effectiveness" is listed as the primary goal of 24 investments, with the focus typically on professional development.

As our campuses seek ways to advance STEM education and identify resources to support STEM activities and initiatives, this report may be of interest to you.  Please share it with your faculty and staff.  If you have questions, please feel free to contact me by email at or by phone at 608-263-3362.