President Donald Trump today signed a Presidential Memorandum on Creating Pathways to Jobs by Increasing Access to Jobs by Increasing Access to High-Quality Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education, affirming his Administration’s strong commitment to enabling and encouraging students across the country to engage in high-quality STEM education, including computer science.
This Presidential Memorandum (PM) directs the U.S. Secretary of Education to make promoting high-quality STEM and computer science education one of the Department of Education’s top priorities, and beginning in fiscal year 2018, to take this priority into account when awarding competitive grant funds. Specifically, the PM sets a goal of devoting at least $200 million per year within the Department of Education toward advancing this effort. This action helps American students without incurring new government spending, and instead utilizes existing funds appropriated by Congress.
Along with establishing a path for targeted funding, the President stressed to the Department of Education the importance of tracking the outcomes and progress of programs funded under this directive. While different programs will have their own appropriate metrics of success, grant recipients should demonstrate an ability and commitment to creating real change, with measurable results.
Despite overwhelming evidence that coding skills and STEM literacy will be critical to achieving high-paying jobs of the future, too few schools across the country are able to provide students with high-quality education and training in STEM and computer science. Fewer than half of America’s high schools offer computer programming instruction. Women, minorities, and students in rural communities often have even lower participation in STEM education, and will benefit from the efforts that this PM sets into motion.
Throughout 2017, the Trump Administration has been actively promoting STEM careers and computer science education. Some highlights include:
This effort is about providing students pathways to jobs. And allowing a new generation of students the opportunity to thrive in STEM education and computer science will also help ensure the United States remains a global leader in innovation. The Trump Administration looks forward to continuing to help Americans from all walks of life to prepare for the jobs of the future through STEM education.