Policy & Funding
How ESSA and Perkins V Can Support STEAM
- By Dian Schaffhauser
A new one
from the Education
Commission of the States
gives a quick rundown on how states and districts can use ESSA and
Perkins V funds to support their STEAM education. The Strengthening
Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V)
was signed into law in 2018 to provide funding for career and
technical education (CTE) programs for young people and adults. Now
states are going out to districts, schools and colleges to solicit
their applications for the 2020-2021 school year.
the brief explained, STEAM education is an approach to instruction
"in which students demonstrate critical thinking and creative
problem-solving skills at the intersection of science, technology,
engineering, arts and math."
to the Commission, on the Every Student Succeeds Act front, the prime
opportunities for STEAM fall into ESSA section 4107
Local education agencies may include STEAM programming as part of
activities to support a well-rounded education by "integrating
other academic subjects, including the arts, into STEM subject
programs to increase participation in STEM subjects, improve
attainment of skills related to STEM subjects, and promote
well-rounded education." As an example, Pennsylvania's ESSA plan
promoted STEAM education as a priority by agreeing to fund the
creation of community learning centers in high-poverty and
low-performing school communities, where children can gain "academic
enrichment opportunities" after school.
two sections are relevant: 124(b)(16) says that state leadership may
use funds in "support for programs and activities that increase
access, student engagement, and success in science, technology,
engineering, and mathematics fields (including computer science,
coding, and architecture), support for the integration of arts and
design skills, and support for hands-on learning, particularly for
students who are members of groups underrepresented in such subject
fields, such as female students, minority students, and students who
are members of special populations"; and 135(b)(5)(Q) adds that
Perkins funding can be used for "supporting the integration of
arts and design skills, when appropriate, into career and technical
education programs and programs of study." The Commission
outline offered Texas
as one exemplar; that state has organized CTE programming by career
clusters, which include opportunities to support STEAM.
one-page guidance is openly available on
the Commission's website.
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.