Congressman Frank Lucas released the following statement today:
House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK) along with Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Rep. Jim Baird (R-IN), and Rep. Ben McAdams (D-UT), introduced legislation today to enhance STEM education at rural schools.
Nearly half of all public schools are considered rural and more than nine million students in the United States—roughly 20 percent of all schoolchildren—attend rural schools. Rural schools face unique barriers to providing STEM education, including a shortage of science and math teachers, high teacher turnover, and difficulty accessing online and computer-based technology. H.R. 4979, the Rural STEM Education Act, gives teachers, students, and rural communities the tools they need to overcome these challenges.
“America needs a larger skilled STEM workforce to stay competitive, which is why STEM jobs are growing faster than any other sector and pay higher wages,” Ranking Member Lucas said. “I want rural students to have every opportunity to be competitive in this job market and contribute STEM skills both to their communities and to the national workforce. Giving rural students access to high-quality STEM education is one of my highest priorities. The Rural STEM Education Act gives teachers better tools to teach science and math, leverages local resources to engage students in key subjects, and addresses the lack of broadband access in rural communities. I’m grateful to my colleagues for helping me move this forward in a bipartisan way.”