Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet released the following statement on the Administration’s announcement that it plans to create a new Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Teachers Corps.
“We need to train the next generation of engineers and scientists – but we also need to train the next generation of teachers to educate new engineers and scientists - to compete in the 21st century economy,” Bennet said. “Unfortunately, we’re facing a critical shortage of teachers in STEM fields. This initiative can help us close the gap and bring teachers in these high-need subjects into our schools.”
The STEM Master Teacher Corps will begin with 50 exceptional STEM teachers established in 50 sites and will be expanded over 4 years to reach 10,000 Master Teachers. These selected teachers will make a multi-year commitment to the Corps and, in exchange for their expertise, leadership and service, will receive an annual stipend of up to $20,000 on top of their base salary.
Bennet, a former Denver Public Schools superintendent, is a strong supporter of STEM initiatives and has called for the creation of a Presidential Teachers Corps (PTC), to create an army of new teachers to serve in high-need schools. The president included most elements of the PTC in his FY2012 and FY 2013 budget proposals to Congress.