5th District Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty and a counterpart from Ohio have introduced legislation that would empower school districts to better engage girls and underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering and math. The 21st Century STEM for Girls and Underrepresented Minorities Act would eliminate barriers in the early stages of their education.
Esty says this country cannot compete effectively when this many children are being left behind. She says this legislation will help level the playing field to make sure that all children have the skills they need to excel in high-demand careers.
The legislation would provide funding for local educators to create the necessary infrastructure for enhanced STEM learning. These increased resources would be used to improve professional development for teachers, strengthen outreach to parents, provide mentoring and tutoring programs, expand access to afterschool and summer programs that provide additional enrichment opportunities in STEM, and promote academic advice and assistance in high school course selection that encourages participation in advanced STEM classes.
Esty says recent research suggests that an alarming underrepresentation of women and minorities currently exists in STEM employment fields in the United States. She says this piece of legislation would give school districts the tools they need to help reverse this trend, bolstering the diversity and effectiveness of the STEM workforce.