Crowley, Serrano Announce House Approval of Bipartisan Measure to Expand Access to STEM Fields for Hispanic Students

May 21, 2015
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – On Wednesday, May 20, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bipartisan amendment to the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act calling for expanding access to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education at Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) of higher education. The amendment was offered by Reps. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, and José E. Serrano (D-the Bronx), as well as Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Will Hurd (R-TX), and Carlos Curbelo (R-FL).

The amendment requires the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish a grant program to support undergraduate STEM education at HSIs. Encouraging underrepresented minorities, such as Hispanic students, to enter STEM fields is crucial for our country to remain competitive in today’s global economy. The amendment is the latest move in the longstanding effort to establish this program, including recent legislation introduced by Serrano, Crowley, and Lujan in April.

“A dedicated grant program for HSIs at the National Science Foundation is a critical first step in helping Hispanic students reach their rightful place in the STEM fields,” said Crowley. “Building upon efforts I have made over the past 8 years to urge the NSF to establish this program, our amendment makes clear the strong, bipartisan support for expanding access to STEM education.”

“As the largest minority in our nation, we need to ensure that Hispanics have the opportunity and are prepared to take the STEM jobs of tomorrow. Right now, far too few Hispanics enter these important fields of study in college. By creating a specific stream of funding for Hispanic Serving Institutions, this amendment will help expand opportunities for Hispanic students in the STEM fields. STEM is vital for the United States’ global competitiveness, and the only way we can guarantee that our country will continue leading the way is by investing in the education of our future generations,” said Serrano.