Congressman Lowenthal Requests $35M For STEM-focused STARBASE Education Program
Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) this week submitted an appropriations request to direct $35 million to the STARBASE Youth Program. which provides instruction for 5th-grade underrepresented and low-income students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education.
The STARBASE program is run at student academies set up on existing military bases. The goal of the program is to provide STEM-focused experiments and activities to motivate students to further explore STEM subjects throughout their continuing education. The STARBASE academies serve students who are historically underrepresented in STEM: students who live in inner cities or rural locations, are socioeconomically disadvantaged, low in academic performance, or have a disability.
"I spent nearly three decades as an educator and have seen firsthand the life-changing benefits education can bring to the lives of students," Congressman Lowenthal said. "The STARBASE program, and the STEM education it provides, are critical for today's young students. Success in our 21st Century economy requires a 21st Century education. We cannot afford to leave any of our students behind."
The Congressman's request – a $5 million increase over the amount the Congressman secured last year for the program -- was made as part of the FY2020 Department of Defense (DoD) appropriations process. A bipartisan group of 71 Members of Congress signed on to the request.
If approved, the funding will support the STARBASE program, which now operates in 66 locations across 35 states and Puerto Rico. In the 47th District, the STARBASE Youth Program Facility at the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos serves nearly 4,000 students a year. Nationwide, the program has served more than 1.1 million students since its inception in 1993. With additional resources, STARBASE seeks to expand its reach even further across the nation.Previously, in FY2017, FY2018, and FY2019, Congressman Lowenthal--founder and co-chair of the Congressional STARBASE Caucus--secured $30 million for the program, and $25 million for the program in each of the FY2014, FY2015, and FY2016 funding cycles. If approved by the House, the FY2020 appropriations will proceed to the Senate.
Click here to learn more about the STARBASE program.