The U.S. Department of Education issued guidance to school districts and educational leaders on funding STEM education opportunities

The U.S. Department of Education has issued guidance around leveraging federal funds for STEM education in an attempt to close the equity and opportunity gaps that persist for historically underserved students.

A letter directed to states, school districts and schools offers examples of how federal funds can serve to support the development, implementation and expansion of STEM education and learning experiences to improve student achievement.

The recommendations focus on improving student access to STEM learning experiences, as well as supporting educators in STEM disciplines. The letter also targets computer science education and mentions in a footnote that all references to STEM include computer science.

“Too often many of our students, especially those who are most vulnerable, do not have equitable access to high-quality STEM and computer science opportunities, which are part of a well-rounded education and can change the course of a child’s life,” said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. in a statement. “We are committed to ensuring that all students have the same opportunities to access a rigorous and challenging education. This letter will help states and their school districts use their federal funds to close opportunity gaps and improve educational outcomes for all students.”

The letter offers examples of how Title I, Title II, Title III and Title IV of ESEA; IDEA; and the Perkins Act can support PreK-12 STEM education.

Next page: Various funding categories that can support STEM education