Shaheen's STEM Legislation to Become Law as Part of No Child Left Behind Reform

December 09, 2015

**Says legislation will “help inspire the next generation of American innovators”**

**Calls “long overdue” reforms to No Child Left Behind that turn over more control to states and local school districts**   

(Washington, DC)—Today, the Senate passed legislation that makes broad reforms to elementary and secondary education policy, known as The Every Student Succeeds Act.  Included is Senator Shaheen’s legislation that expands funding opportunities for after-school education and other innovative programs in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

“We need more of our students to discover a passion for science, engineering, technology, and math so the United States can continue to be a global economic leader,” said Shaheen. “My legislation will help inspire the next generation of American innovators.”

Specifically, Shaheen’s legislation provides additional federal funding opportunities for STEM after-school programs. The bill also includes a Shaheen provision that provides support for low-income students in innovative STEM activities, such as robotics competitions.  These provisions are drawn from two bills introduced by Senator Shaheen earlier this year: the Innovation Inspiration School Grant Program Act and the Supporting Afterschool STEM Act.

Shaheen has made promoting STEM education one of her top priorities in the Senate and is a leader recognized by STEM Connector in its 100 Women in STEM publication. Shaheen helped launch and co-chairs the Senate STEM Caucus and has been a longtime supporter of efforts that promote programs like FIRST Robotics since her days as New Hampshire’s governor. 

The Every Student Succeeds Act reforms and updates many problematic policies that were put in place by the No Child Left Behind law passed in 2002.  

“As a former teacher and governor, I know that it’s the teachers and administrators on the ground in our local school districts that know how best to address the education needs of their communities,” said Shaheen. “These are long overdue reforms to federal education policy that will give state governments and local school districts more control and flexibility.”

This legislation will allow states like New Hampshire more freedom to design their own education goals and accountability systems. States will also have discretion to determine which of their schools are struggling, as well as the kind of intervention that’s appropriate. The bill ends No Child Left Behind’s singular focus on student test scores, which has often led to narrowly focused teaching. The bill also expands funding for early childhood education.