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H.R. 4979: Rural STEM Education Act


The text of the bill below is as of Sep 11, 2020 (Preprint (Suspension)).


IB




                                                                                                                         Union Calendar No. 319
                                                                       116TH CONGRESS
                                                                          2D SESSION
                                                                                                             H. R. 4979
                                                                                                               [Report No. 116–397]

                                                                       To direct the Director of the National Science Foundation to support STEM
                                                                           education and workforce development research focused on rural areas,
                                                                           and for other purposes.




                                                                                      IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
                                                                                                    NOVEMBER 5, 2019
                                                                       Mr. LUCAS (for himself, Mr. MCADAMS, Mr. BAIRD, Ms. JOHNSON of Texas,
                                                                           Mr. CONAWAY, Ms. KENDRA S. HORN of Oklahoma, Mr. WEBER of
                                                                           Texas, Mr. BALDERSON, Mr. NORMAN, Mr. MURPHY of North Carolina,
                                                                           Mr. COMER, Mr. GONZALEZ of Ohio, and Mr. WALTZ) introduced the fol-
                                                                           lowing bill; which was referred to the Committee on Science, Space, and
                                                                           Technology

                                                                                                  FEBRUARY 13, 2020
                                                                       Additional sponsors: Mr. MARSHALL, Mr. FOSTER, Ms. ESHOO, Ms. HERRERA
                                                                           BEUTLER, Mr. LAMB, Mr. BABIN, Mr. RODNEY DAVIS of Illinois, Mr.
                                                                           PETERSON, Mr. WITTMAN, Ms. WEXTON, Mr. MOONEY of West Virginia,
                                                                           Mr. PERLMUTTER, Mr. STAUBER, Mr. NEWHOUSE, Mrs. AXNE, Mr.
                                                                           DELGADO, Mr. KIND, Mr. EMMER, Mr. HARDER of California, Ms.
                                                                           SPANBERGER, Mrs. HARTZLER, Ms. SLOTKIN, Mr. DAVID SCOTT of
                                                                           Georgia, Mr. HAGEDORN, Mr. CRAWFORD, Mr. COLE, Mrs. HAYES, Mr.
                                                                           LAMALFA, Mr. DUNN, Mr. GOTTHEIMER, Mr. KHANNA, Mr. COX of Cali-
                                                                           fornia, Mrs. BUSTOS, and Ms. HOULAHAN

                                                                                                   FEBRUARY 13, 2020
                                                                           Reported with an amendment, committed to the Committee of the Whole
                                                                                 House on the State of the Union, and ordered to be printed
                                                                                     [Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed in italic]
                                                                                   [For text of introduced bill, see copy of bill as introduced on November 5, 2019]
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2 A BILL To direct the Director of the National Science Foundation to support STEM education and workforce development research focused on rural areas, and for other purposes. kjohnson on DSK79L0C42PROD with BILLS •HR 4979 RH VerDate Sep 11 2014 21:44 Feb 13, 2020 Jkt 099200 PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6652 E:\BILLS\H4979.RH H4979
3 1 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa- 2 tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, 3 SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. 4 This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Rural STEM Education 5 Act’’. 6 SEC. 2. FINDINGS. 7 Congress finds the following: 8 (1) The supply of STEM workers is not keeping 9 pace with the rapidly evolving needs of the public and 10 private sector, resulting in a deficit often referred to 11 as a STEM skills shortage. 12 (2) According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 13 the United States will need one million additional 14 STEM professionals than it is on track to produce in 15 the coming decade. 16 (3) Many STEM occupations offer higher wages, 17 more opportunities for advancement, and a higher de- 18 gree of job security than non-STEM jobs. 19 (4) The 60,000,000 individuals in the United 20 States who live in rural settings are significantly 21 under-represented in STEM. 22 (5) According to the National Center for Edu- 23 cation Statistics, nine million students in the United 24 States—nearly 20 percent of the total K–12 popu- kjohnson on DSK79L0C42PROD with BILLS 25 lation—attend rural schools, and for reasons ranging •HR 4979 RH VerDate Sep 11 2014 21:44 Feb 13, 2020 Jkt 099200 PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6203 E:\BILLS\H4979.RH H4979
4 1 from teacher quality to shortages of resources, these 2 students often have fewer opportunities for high-qual- 3 ity STEM learning than their peers in the Nation’s 4 urban and suburban schools. 5 (6) Rural areas represent one of the most prom- 6 ising, yet underutilized, opportunities for STEM edu- 7 cation to impact workforce development and regional 8 innovation, including agriculture. 9 (7) The study of agriculture, food, and natural 10 resources involves biology, engineering, physics, chem- 11 istry, math, geology, computer science, and other sci- 12 entific fields. 13 (8) It is estimated that by 2020 that there will 14 be a projected one million more computing jobs than 15 applicants who can fill them. To meet this demand, 16 rural students must acquire computing skills through 17 exposure to computer science learning in grades PreK 18 - 12 and in informal learning settings. 19 (9) More than 293,000,000 individuals in the 20 United States use high-speed broadband to work, 21 learn, access healthcare, and operate their businesses, 22 while 19,000,000 individuals in the United States 23 still lack access to high-speed broadband. Rural areas 24 are hardest hit, with over 26 percent of individuals kjohnson on DSK79L0C42PROD with BILLS 25 in rural areas in the United States lacking access to •HR 4979 RH VerDate Sep 11 2014 21:44 Feb 13, 2020 Jkt 099200 PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6203 E:\BILLS\H4979.RH H4979
5 1 high-speed broadband compared to 1.7 percent of in- 2 dividuals in urban areas in the United States. 3 SEC. 3. NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION RURAL STEM AC- 4 TIVITIES. 5 (a) PREPARING RURAL STEM EDUCATORS.— 6 (1) IN GENERAL.—The Director shall provide 7 grants on a merit-reviewed, competitive basis to insti- 8 tutions of higher education or nonprofit organizations 9 (or a consortium thereof) for research and develop- 10 ment to advance innovative approaches to support 11 and sustain high-quality STEM teaching in rural 12 schools. 13 (2) USE OF FUNDS.— 14 (A) IN GENERAL.—Grants awarded under 15 this section shall be used for the research and de- 16 velopment activities referred to in paragraph (1), 17 which may include— 18 (i) engaging rural educators of stu- 19 dents in grades Pre-K through 12 in profes- 20 sional learning opportunities to enhance 21 STEM knowledge, including computer 22 science, and develop best practices; 23 (ii) supporting research on effective 24 STEM teaching practices in rural settings, kjohnson on DSK79L0C42PROD with BILLS 25 including the use of rubrics and mastery- •HR 4979 RH VerDate Sep 11 2014 21:44 Feb 13, 2020 Jkt 099200 PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6203 E:\BILLS\H4979.RH H4979
6 1 based grading practices to assess student 2 performance when employing the 3 transdisciplinary teaching approach for 4 STEM disciplines; 5 (iii) designing and developing pre-serv- 6 ice and in-service training resources to as- 7 sist such rural educators in adopting 8 transdisciplinary teaching practices across 9 STEM courses; 10 (iv) coordinating with local partners to 11 adapt STEM teaching practices to leverage 12 local natural and community assets in 13 order to support in-place learning in rural 14 areas; 15 (v) providing hands-on training and 16 research opportunities for rural educators 17 described in clause (i) at Federal Labora- 18 tories, institutions of higher education, or 19 in industry; 20 (vi) developing training and best prac- 21 tices for educators who teach multiple grade 22 levels within a STEM discipline; 23 (vii) designing and implementing pro- 24 fessional development courses and experi- kjohnson on DSK79L0C42PROD with BILLS 25 ences, including mentoring, for rural edu- •HR 4979 RH VerDate Sep 11 2014 21:44 Feb 13, 2020 Jkt 099200 PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6203 E:\BILLS\H4979.RH H4979
7 1 cators described in clause (i) that combine 2 face-to-face and online experiences; and 3 (viii) any other activity the Director 4 determines will accomplish the goals of this 5 subsection. 6 (B) RURAL STEM COLLABORATIVE.—The 7 Director may establish a pilot program of re- 8 gional cohorts in rural areas that will provide 9 peer support, mentoring, and hands-on research 10 experiences for rural STEM educators of students 11 in grades Pre-K through 12, in order to build an 12 ecosystem of cooperation among educators, re- 13 searchers, academia, and local industry. 14 (b) BROADENING PARTICIPATION OF RURAL STU- 15 DENTS IN STEM.— 16 (1) IN GENERAL.—The Director shall provide 17 grants on a merit-reviewed, competitive basis to insti- 18 tutions of higher education or nonprofit organizations 19 (or a consortium thereof) for— 20 (A) research and development of program- 21 ming to identify the barriers rural students face 22 in accessing high-quality STEM education; and 23 (B) development of innovative solutions to 24 improve the participation and advancement of kjohnson on DSK79L0C42PROD with BILLS •HR 4979 RH VerDate Sep 11 2014 21:44 Feb 13, 2020 Jkt 099200 PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6203 E:\BILLS\H4979.RH H4979
8 1 rural students in grades Pre-K through 12 in 2 STEM studies. 3 (2) USE OF FUNDS.— 4 (A) IN GENERAL.—Grants awarded under 5 this section shall be used for the research and de- 6 velopment activities referred to in paragraph (1), 7 which may include— 8 (i) developing partnerships with com- 9 munity colleges to offer advanced STEM 10 course work, including computer science, to 11 rural high school students; 12 (ii) supporting research on effective 13 STEM practices in rural settings; 14 (iii) implementing a school-wide 15 STEM approach; 16 (iv) improving the National Science 17 Foundation’s Advanced Technology Edu- 18 cation program’s coordination and engage- 19 ment with rural communities; 20 (v) collaborating with existing commu- 21 nity partners and networks, such as the co- 22 operative research and extension services of 23 the Department of Agriculture and youth 24 serving organizations like 4-H, after school kjohnson on DSK79L0C42PROD with BILLS 25 STEM programs, and summer STEM pro- •HR 4979 RH VerDate Sep 11 2014 21:44 Feb 13, 2020 Jkt 099200 PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6203 E:\BILLS\H4979.RH H4979
9 1 grams, to leverage community resources and 2 develop place-based programming; 3 (vi) connecting rural school districts 4 and institutions of higher education, to im- 5 prove precollegiate STEM education and 6 engagement; 7 (vii) supporting partnerships that offer 8 hands-on inquiry-based science activities, 9 including coding, and access to lab re- 10 sources for students studying STEM in 11 grades Pre–K through 12 in a rural area; 12 (viii) evaluating the role of broadband 13 connectivity and its associated impact on 14 the STEM and technology literacy of rural 15 students; 16 (ix) building capacity to support ex- 17 tracurricular STEM programs in rural 18 schools, including mentor-led engagement 19 programs, STEM programs held during 20 nonschool hours, STEM networks, 21 makerspaces, coding activities, and competi- 22 tions; and 23 (x) any other activity the Director de- 24 termines will accomplish the goals of this kjohnson on DSK79L0C42PROD with BILLS 25 subsection. •HR 4979 RH VerDate Sep 11 2014 21:44 Feb 13, 2020 Jkt 099200 PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6203 E:\BILLS\H4979.RH H4979
10 1 (c) APPLICATION.—An applicant seeking a grant 2 under subsection (a) or (b) shall submit an application at 3 such time, in such manner, and containing such informa- 4 tion as the Director may require. The application may in- 5 clude the following: 6 (1) A description of the target population to be 7 served by the research activity or activities for which 8 such grant is sought. 9 (2) A description of the process for recruitment 10 and selection of students, educators, or schools from 11 rural areas to participate in such activity or activi- 12 ties. 13 (3) A description of how such activity or activi- 14 ties may inform efforts to promote the engagement 15 and achievement of rural students in grades PreK - 16 12 in STEM studies. 17 (4) In the case of a proposal consisting of a part- 18 nership or partnerships with one or more rural 19 schools and one or more researchers, a plan for estab- 20 lishing a sustained partnership that is jointly devel- 21 oped and managed, draws from the capacities of each 22 partner, and is mutually beneficial. 23 (d) PARTNERSHIPS.—In awarding grants under sub- 24 section (a) or (b), the Director shall— kjohnson on DSK79L0C42PROD with BILLS •HR 4979 RH VerDate Sep 11 2014 21:44 Feb 13, 2020 Jkt 099200 PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6203 E:\BILLS\H4979.RH H4979
11 1 (1) encourage applicants which, for the purpose 2 of the activity or activities funded through the grant, 3 include or partner with a nonprofit organization or 4 an institution of higher education (or a consortium 5 thereof) that has extensive experience and expertise in 6 increasing the participation of rural students in 7 grades Pre-K through 12 in STEM; 8 (2) encourage applicants which, for the purpose 9 of the activity or activities funded through the grant, 10 include or partner with a consortium of rural schools 11 or rural school districts; and 12 (3) encourage applications which, for the pur- 13 pose of the activity or activities funded through the 14 grant, include commitments from school principals 15 and administrators to making reforms and activities 16 proposed by the applicant a priority. 17 (e) EVALUATIONS.—All proposals for grants under 18 subsections (a) and (b) shall include an evaluation plan 19 that includes the use of outcome oriented measures to assess 20 the impact and efficacy of the grant. Each recipient of a 21 grant under this section shall include results from these 22 evaluative activities in annual and final projects. 23 (f) ACCOUNTABILITY AND DISSEMINATION.— kjohnson on DSK79L0C42PROD with BILLS •HR 4979 RH VerDate Sep 11 2014 21:44 Feb 13, 2020 Jkt 099200 PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6203 E:\BILLS\H4979.RH H4979
12 1 (1) EVALUATION REQUIRED.—The Director shall 2 evaluate the portfolio of grants awarded under sub- 3 sections (a) and (b). Such evaluation shall— 4 (A) use a common set of benchmarks and 5 tools to assess the results of research conducted 6 under such grants and identify best practices; 7 and 8 (B) to the extent practicable, integrate the 9 findings of research resulting from the activity 10 or activities funded through such grants with the 11 findings of other research on rural student’s pur- 12 suit of degrees or careers in STEM. 13 (2) REPORT ON EVALUATIONS.—Not later than 14 180 days after the completion of the evaluation under 15 paragraph (1), the Director shall submit to Congress 16 and make widely available to the public a report that 17 includes— 18 (A) the results of the evaluation; and 19 (B) any recommendations for administra- 20 tive and legislative action that could optimize 21 the effectiveness of the grants awarded under this 22 section. 23 (g) REPORT BY COMMITTEE ON EQUAL OPPORTUNI- 24 SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING.— kjohnson on DSK79L0C42PROD with BILLS TIES IN •HR 4979 RH VerDate Sep 11 2014 21:44 Feb 13, 2020 Jkt 099200 PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6203 E:\BILLS\H4979.RH H4979
13 1 (1) IN GENERAL.—As part of the first report re- 2 quired by section 36(e) of the Science and Engineer- 3 ing Equal Opportunities Act (42 U.S.C. 1885c(e)) 4 transmitted to Congress after the date of enactment of 5 this Act, the Committee on Equal Opportunities in 6 Science and Engineering shall include— 7 (A) a description of past and present poli- 8 cies and activities of the Foundation to encour- 9 age full participation of students in rural com- 10 munities in science, mathematics, engineering, 11 and computer science fields; and 12 (B) an assessment of trends in participa- 13 tion of rural students in grades Pre-K through 14 12 in Foundation activities, and an assessment 15 of the policies and activities of the Foundation, 16 along with proposals for new strategies or the 17 broadening of existing successful strategies to- 18 wards facilitating the goals of this Act. 19 (2) TECHNICAL CORRECTION.— 20 (A) IN GENERAL.—Section 313 of the Amer- 21 ican Innovation and Competitiveness Act (Public 22 Law 114–329) is amended by striking ‘‘Section 23 204(e) of the National Science Foundation Au- 24 thorization Act of 1988’’ and inserting ‘‘Section kjohnson on DSK79L0C42PROD with BILLS •HR 4979 RH VerDate Sep 11 2014 21:44 Feb 13, 2020 Jkt 099200 PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6203 E:\BILLS\H4979.RH H4979
14 1 36(e) of the Science and Engineering Equal Op- 2 portunities Act’’. 3 (B) APPLICABILITY.—The amendment made 4 by paragraph (1) shall take effect as if included 5 in the enactment of section 313 of the American 6 Innovation and Competitiveness Act (Public 7 Law 114–329). 8 (h) COORDINATION.—In carrying out this section, the 9 Director shall, for purposes of enhancing program effective- 10 ness and avoiding duplication of activities, consult, cooper- 11 ate, and coordinate with the programs and policies of other 12 relevant Federal agencies. 13 (i) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—There are 14 authorized to be appropriated to the Director— 15 (1) $8,000,000 to carry out the activities under 16 subsection (a) for each of fiscal years 2020 through 17 2025; and 18 (2) $12,000,000 to carry out the activities under 19 subsection (b) for each of fiscal years 2020 through 20 2025. 21 SEC. 4. OPPORTUNITIES FOR ONLINE EDUCATION. 22 (a) IN GENERAL.—The Director shall award competi- 23 tive grants to institutions of higher education or nonprofit 24 organizations (or a consortium thereof, which may include kjohnson on DSK79L0C42PROD with BILLS •HR 4979 RH VerDate Sep 11 2014 21:44 Feb 13, 2020 Jkt 099200 PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6203 E:\BILLS\H4979.RH H4979
15 1 a private sector partner) to conduct research on online 2 STEM education courses for rural communities. 3 (b) RESEARCH AREAS.—The research areas eligible for 4 funding under this subsection shall include— 5 (1) evaluating the learning and achievement of 6 rural students in grades Pre–K through 12 in STEM 7 subjects; 8 (2) understanding how computer-based and on- 9 line professional development courses and mentor ex- 10 periences can be integrated to meet the needs of edu- 11 cators of rural students in grades Pre–K through 12; 12 (3) combining computer-based and online STEM 13 education and training with apprenticeships, men- 14 toring, or other applied learning arrangements; 15 (4) leveraging online programs to supplement 16 STEM studies for rural students that need physical 17 and academic accommodation; and 18 (5) any other activity the Director determines 19 will accomplish the goals of this subsection. 20 (c) EVALUATIONS.—All proposals for grants under this 21 section shall include an evaluation plan that includes the 22 use of outcome oriented measures to assess the impact and 23 efficacy of the grant. Each recipient of a grant under this 24 section shall include results from these evaluative activities kjohnson on DSK79L0C42PROD with BILLS 25 in annual and final projects. •HR 4979 RH VerDate Sep 11 2014 21:44 Feb 13, 2020 Jkt 099200 PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6203 E:\BILLS\H4979.RH H4979
16 1 (d) ACCOUNTABILITY AND DISSEMINATION.— 2 (1) EVALUATION REQUIRED.—The Director shall 3 evaluate the portfolio of grants awarded under this 4 section. Such evaluation shall— 5 (A) use a common set of benchmarks and 6 tools to assess the results of research conducted 7 under such grants and identify best practices; 8 and 9 (B) to the extent practicable, integrate find- 10 ings from activities carried out pursuant to re- 11 search conducted under this section, with respect 12 to the pursuit of careers and degrees in STEM, 13 with those activities carried our pursuant to 14 other research on serving rural students and 15 communities. 16 (2) REPORT ON EVALUATIONS.—Not later than 17 180 days after the completion of the evaluation under 18 paragraph (1), the Director shall submit to Congress 19 and make widely available to the public a report that 20 includes— 21 (A) the results of the evaluation; and 22 (B) any recommendations for administra- 23 tive and legislative action that could optimize 24 the effectiveness of the grants awarded under this kjohnson on DSK79L0C42PROD with BILLS 25 section. •HR 4979 RH VerDate Sep 11 2014 21:44 Feb 13, 2020 Jkt 099200 PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6203 E:\BILLS\H4979.RH H4979
17 1 (e) COORDINATION.—In carrying out this section, the 2 Director shall, for purposes of enhancing program effective- 3 ness and avoiding duplication of activities, consult, cooper- 4 ate, and coordinate with the programs and policies of other 5 relevant Federal agencies. 6 SEC. 5. NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES EVALUATION. 7 (a) STUDY.—Not later than 12 months after the date 8 of enactment of this Act, the Director shall enter into an 9 agreement with the National Academy of Sciences under 10 which the National Academy agrees to conduct an evalua- 11 tion and assessment that— 12 (1) evaluates the quality and quantity of current 13 Federal programming and research directed at exam- 14 ining STEM education for students in grades Pre–K 15 through 12 and workforce development in rural areas; 16 (2) assesses the impact of the scarcity of 17 broadband connectivity in rural communities has on 18 STEM and technical literacy for students in grades 19 Pre–K through 12 in rural areas; 20 (3) assesses the core research and data needed to 21 understand the challenges rural areas are facing in 22 providing quality STEM education and workforce de- 23 velopment; and 24 (4) makes recommendations for action at the kjohnson on DSK79L0C42PROD with BILLS 25 Federal, State, and local levels for improving STEM •HR 4979 RH VerDate Sep 11 2014 21:44 Feb 13, 2020 Jkt 099200 PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6203 E:\BILLS\H4979.RH H4979
18 1 education for students in grades Pre–K through 12 2 and workforce development in rural areas. 3 (b) REPORT TO DIRECTOR.—The agreement entered 4 into under subsection (a) shall require the National Acad- 5 emy of Sciences, not later than 24 months after the date 6 of enactment of this Act, to submit to the Director a report 7 on the study conducted under such subsection, including the 8 National Academy’s findings and recommendations. 9 (c) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—There are 10 authorized to be appropriated to the Director to carry out 11 this section $1,000,000 for fiscal year 2020. 12 SEC. 6. GAO REVIEW. 13 Not later than 3 years after the date of enactment of 14 this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall 15 conduct a study on the engagement of rural populations in 16 Federal STEM programs and submit to Congress a report 17 that includes— 18 (1) an assessment of how Federal STEM edu- 19 cation programs are serving rural populations; 20 (2) a description of initiatives carried out by 21 Federal agencies that are targeted at supporting 22 STEM education in rural areas; 23 (3) an assessment of what is known about the 24 impact and effectiveness of Federal investments in kjohnson on DSK79L0C42PROD with BILLS •HR 4979 RH VerDate Sep 11 2014 21:44 Feb 13, 2020 Jkt 099200 PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6203 E:\BILLS\H4979.RH H4979
19 1 STEM education programs that are targeted to rural 2 areas; and 3 (4) an assessment of challenges that state and 4 Federal STEM education programs face in reaching 5 rural population centers. 6 SEC. 7. CAPACITY BUILDING THROUGH EPSCOR. 7 Section 517(f)(2) of the America COMPETES Reau- 8 thorization Act of 2010 (42 U.S.C. 1862p–9(f)(2)) is 9 amended— 10 (1) in subparagraph (A), by striking ‘‘and’’ at 11 the end; and 12 (2) by adding at the end the following: 13 ‘‘(C) to increase the capacity of rural com- 14 munities to provide quality STEM education 15 and STEM workforce development programming 16 to students, and teachers; and’’. 17 SEC. 8. NIST ENGAGEMENT WITH RURAL COMMUNITIES. 18 (a) MEP OUTREACH.—Section 25 of the National In- 19 stitute of Standards and Technology Act (15 U.S.C. 278k) 20 is amended— 21 (1) in subsection (c)— 22 (A) in paragraph (6), by striking ‘‘commu- 23 nity colleges and area career and technical edu- 24 cation schools’’ and inserting the following: ‘‘sec- kjohnson on DSK79L0C42PROD with BILLS 25 ondary schools (as defined in section 8101 of the •HR 4979 RH VerDate Sep 11 2014 21:44 Feb 13, 2020 Jkt 099200 PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6203 E:\BILLS\H4979.RH H4979
20 1 Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 2 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801)), community colleges, and 3 area career and technical education schools, in- 4 cluding those in underserved and rural commu- 5 nities,’’; and 6 (B) in paragraph (7)— 7 (i) by striking ‘‘and local colleges’’ and 8 inserting the following: ‘‘local high schools 9 and local colleges, including those in under- 10 served and rural communities,’’; and 11 (ii) by inserting ‘‘or other applied 12 learning opportunities’’ after ‘‘apprentice- 13 ships’’; and 14 (2) in subsection (d)(3) by striking ‘‘, commu- 15 nity colleges, and area career and technical education 16 schools,’’ and inserting the following: ‘‘and local high 17 schools, community colleges, and area career and tech- 18 nical education schools, including those in under- 19 served and rural communities,’’. 20 (b) RURAL CONNECTIVITY PRIZE COMPETITION.— 21 (1) PRIZE COMPETITION.—Pursuant to section 22 24 of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation 23 Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. 3719), the Secretary of Com- 24 merce, acting through the Under Secretary of Com- kjohnson on DSK79L0C42PROD with BILLS 25 merce for Standards and Technology (referred to in •HR 4979 RH VerDate Sep 11 2014 21:44 Feb 13, 2020 Jkt 099200 PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6203 E:\BILLS\H4979.RH H4979
21 1 this subsection as the ‘‘Secretary’’), shall carry out a 2 program to award prizes competitively to stimulate 3 research and development of creative technologies in 4 order to deploy affordable and reliable broadband 5 connectivity to underserved rural communities. 6 (2) PLAN FOR DEPLOYMENT IN RURAL COMMU- 7 NITIES.—Each proposal submitted pursuant to para- 8 graph (1) shall include a plan for deployment of the 9 technology that is the subject of such proposal in an 10 underserved rural community. 11 (3) PRIZE AMOUNT.—In carrying out the pro- 12 gram under paragraph (1), the Secretary may award 13 not more than a total of $5,000,000 to one or more 14 winners of the prize competition. 15 (4) REPORT.—Not later than 60 days after the 16 date on which a prize is awarded under the prize 17 competition, the Secretary shall submit to the relevant 18 committees of Congress a report that describes the 19 winning proposal of the prize competition. 20 (5) CONSULTATION.—In carrying out the pro- 21 gram under subsection (a), the Secretary may consult 22 with the heads of relevant departments and agencies 23 of the Federal Government. kjohnson on DSK79L0C42PROD with BILLS •HR 4979 RH VerDate Sep 11 2014 21:44 Feb 13, 2020 Jkt 099200 PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6203 E:\BILLS\H4979.RH H4979
22 1 SEC. 9. NITR-D BROADBAND WORKING GROUP. 2 Title I of the High-Performance Computing Act of 3 1991 (15 U.S.C. 5511 et seq.) is amended by adding at the 4 end the following: 5 ‘‘SEC. 103. BROADBAND RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT 6 WORKING GROUP. 7 ‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—The Director shall establish a 8 broadband research and development working group to ad- 9 dress national research challenges and opportunities for im- 10 proving broadband access and adoption across the United 11 States. 12 ‘‘(b) ACTIVITIES.—The working group shall identify 13 and coordinate key research priorities for addressing 14 broadband access and adoption, including— 15 ‘‘(1) promising research areas; 16 ‘‘(2) requirements for data collection and shar- 17 ing; 18 ‘‘(3) opportunities for better alignment and co- 19 ordination across Federal agencies and external stake- 20 holders; and 21 ‘‘(4) input on the development of new Federal 22 policies and programs to enhance data collection and 23 research. 24 ‘‘(c) COORDINATION.—The working group shall coordi- kjohnson on DSK79L0C42PROD with BILLS 25 nate, as appropriate, with the Rural Broadband Integra- 26 tion Working Group established under section 6214 of the •HR 4979 RH VerDate Sep 11 2014 21:44 Feb 13, 2020 Jkt 099200 PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6203 E:\BILLS\H4979.RH H4979
23 1 Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (Public Law 115– 2 334) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture 3 of the Department of Agriculture. 4 ‘‘(d) REPORT.—The working group shall report to 5 Congress on their activities as part of the annual report 6 submitted under section 101(a)(2)(D). 7 ‘‘(e) SUNSET.—The authority to carry out this section 8 shall terminate on the date that is 5 years after the date 9 of enactment of the Rural STEM Education Act.’’. 10 SEC. 10. DEFINITIONS. 11 In this Act: 12 (1) DIRECTOR.—The term ‘‘Director’’ means the 13 Director of the National Science Foundation estab- 14 lished under section 2 of the National Science Foun- 15 dation Act of 1950 (42 U.S.C. 1861). 16 (2) FEDERAL LABORATORY.—The term ‘‘Federal 17 laboratory’’ has the meaning given such term in sec- 18 tion 4 of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation 19 Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. 3703). 20 (3) FOUNDATION.—The term ‘‘Foundation’’ 21 means the National Science Foundation established 22 under section 2 of the National Science Foundation 23 Act of 1950 (42 U.S.C. 1861). 24 (4) INSTITUTION OF HIGHER EDUCATION.—The kjohnson on DSK79L0C42PROD with BILLS 25 term ‘‘institution of higher education’’ has the mean- •HR 4979 RH VerDate Sep 11 2014 21:44 Feb 13, 2020 Jkt 099200 PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6203 E:\BILLS\H4979.RH H4979
24 1 ing given such term in section 101(a) of the Higher 2 Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001(a)). 3 (5) STEM.—The term ‘‘STEM’’ has the meaning 4 given the term in section 2 of the America COM- 5 PETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 (42 U.S.C. 6621 6 note). 7 (6) STEM EDUCATION.—The term ‘‘STEM edu- 8 cation’’ has the meaning given the term in section 2 9 of the STEM Education Act of 2015 (42 U.S.C. 6621 10 note). kjohnson on DSK79L0C42PROD with BILLS •HR 4979 RH VerDate Sep 11 2014 21:44 Feb 13, 2020 Jkt 099200 PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6203 E:\BILLS\H4979.RH H4979
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Union Calendar No. 319 116TH CONGRESS 2D SESSION H. R. 4979 [Report No. 116–397] H4979 A BILL E:\BILLS\H4979.RH To direct the Director of the National Science Foundation to support STEM education and workforce development research focused on rural areas, and for other purposes. Sfmt 6651 FEBRUARY 13, 2020 Reported with an amendment, committed to the Com- Fmt 6651 mittee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, and ordered to be printed Frm 00026 PO 00000 Jkt 099200 21:44 Feb 13, 2020 VerDate Sep 11 2014 kjohnson on DSK79L0C42PROD with BILLS