President Calls for Greater Focus on STEM, Computer Science
Cabinet Report

President Trump called on the U.S. Department of Education (ED) this week to direct more competitive grant money to recipients that focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), as well as computer science activities.  In addition, the White House is requesting that Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos direct at least $200 million a year in grant funds to STEM and computer science initiatives.


Rather than proposing new funds be appropriated for STEM activities, the White House is advocating that existing grant funds be directed at these kinds of programs and initiatives, though it is not clear which funds they hope to use and whether ED has the authority to do so.  The President’s budget request for fiscal year 2018 also proposes eliminating the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grant under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which would be a key source of funding for States to use to support STEM and computer science activities for students.


Few details were released about the White House’s proposal this week, but ED spokeswoman Liz Hill said “We look forward to working with the White House and Congress on identifying grant funds to use for this important initiative.”


Resources:Alyson Klein, “Trump Wants Education Dept. to Direct $200 Million to STEM, Computer Science,” Education Week: Politics K-12, September 25, 2017.


Author: KSC

About the Author

Kelly Christiansen is an associate with the Washington, DC law firm of Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC. Established in 1980, the Firm is nationally recognized for its federal education regulatory and legislative practice, providing legal advice regarding compliance with all major federal education programs as well as the federal grants management requirements, including the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR). In addition, they work with agencies on federal spending flexibility, allowability, policies and procedures, audit defense and resolution and legislative updates. The Firm provides government relations services for the National Title I Association.