Esty tech-ed bill heads to president’s desk

Rep. Esty's STEM bill wins House approval.

Rep. Esty’s STEM bill wins House approval.

Rep. Elizabeth Esty’s bipartisan measure to expand grants for technical education passed the House on Thursday and is heading to President Obama’s desk for enactment.

The bill, co-authored with House Science, Space & Technology Committee Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, contains no new or additional money for such programs. But it does permit grants for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education to include computer science.

And it supports competitive grants for “informal’’ STEM education that takes place in museums, science centers and afterschool programs. STEM education is a signature issue for Esty, who has touted the efforts of Henry Abbott Technical High School in Danbury and Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury.

“More and more jobs of the 21st century require science, technology, engineering, and math skills,’’ said Esty in a statement. “Final passage of the bipartisan STEM Education Act demonstrates that we can come together to help our children thrive and ensure that they can be competitive in a global economy.’’

Daniel Freedman