McAdams’ bipartisan STEM education bill passes the House
September 16, 2020
Washington D.C.—Congressman Ben McAdams’ bill to improve and expand STEM education for rural Utah students and teachers, passed today with unanimous support in the House. The Rural STEM Education Act (H.R. 4979) provides effective and affordable online teaching tools to educators, helps with teacher recruitment, and improves broadband internet connection in rural communities.
“Rural communities face unique barriers to STEM education, such as fewer math and science teachers, higher teacher turnover rate, and less reliable internet connectivity,” said Congressman McAdams. “This bill gives educators and students tools to help overcome these challenges, particularly as schools increase their use of online learning in response to the pandemic.”
McAdams says nearly half of all public schools are considered rural with more than nine million students in the United States attending rural schools. In Utah, 15 percent of students statewide attend rural schools.
“We must not overlook the bright students in Utah’s rural communities. These students can go on to make impactful advances in science or technology, and the education they get now would be what sets them on that path,” said McAdams.
Representative Frank Lucas, (R-OK) is the Republican sponsor of the bill which brings together the National Science Foundation, National Academies, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and other federal agencies to support STEM education in rural communities. McAdams says the organizations will work to advance research, promote adoption of proven teaching tools, and expand STEM access to rural students nationwide.