STEM – Where is the Funding?

“It is time to restore science to its rightful place, . . . and to wield technology’s wonders to meet the demand of a new age.” President Barack Obama

This is a sentiment most of us can rally behind. We want our children to be able to compete in an increasingly competitive global workplace. However, the problem is systemic and the question is “Who is going to pay for it?”

In the 2011 National Survey on STEM Education we asked STEM leaders that question. Respondents could choose from: district-led initiatives, ESEA, grants from private foundations, Investing in Innovation funds, Race to the Top, school discretionary funds, state-led initiatives, and Title I funding. Over 400 STEM leaders responded. The top answer?

The most frequently identified funding sources were grants from private foundations (31.9%) and district-led initiatives (25.9%).

Public/private funding partnerships are a part of a growing trend in STEM Education. Several states including, Washington, Oregon, Texas, North Carolina, New Mexico, Ohio, Tennessee, Arizona, California, and Idaho have developed STEM alliances that rely on both public and private funding.

Massachusetts, often considered a leader in STEM Education, has published the Massachusetts STEM Plan which relies on a foundation of public/private governance.










The Massachusetts plan looks at systemic reform from Kindergarten through college and focuses on outcomes that can be measured. The plan calls for businesses and the community to be part of the solution from funding to job mentoring.

Many business are stepping up and supporting STEM education in their state. Leaders see the opportunity to be part of the solution and to help nurture scientific and engineering talent that can help solve the global issues we face.

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