Excerpt from the Federal STEM Education Portfolio Executive Summary:
The need for high quality science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education has been touted by numerous reports that link our Nation’s future economic success and security to a highly skilled STEM workforce. National studies and international comparisons have repeatedly shown that STEM education in the United States needs to be improved. The Federal government provides support for a large number of STEM education programs that previous reports have described as potentially duplicative, overlapping, or uncoordinated. To address these issues, Congress, in the America COMPETES Act, called on the Office of Science and Technology Policy to create an interagency committee to cata- logue all Federal investments in STEM education and analyze the amount of duplication, overlap, and fragmentation across programs. This report summarizes the findings of the effort to catalogue Federal investments in STEM education and will inform the five-year strategic plan to improve the effectiveness of Federal STEM education efforts.
The Committee on STEM Education (CoSTEM) carried out a detailed inventory of Federal agencies’ spending on STEM education.2 This inventory differs from previous such inventories in several ways. A consistent unit of analysis was used across all agencies (henceforth labeled as an “investment”); the design and implementation of the inventory survey included extensive agency involvement; and a more thorough and detailed characterization of each agency’s investments was obtained. The result of these differences is a clearer and more complete picture of the Federal investment in STEM education than has previously been available.