School boarding meetings: How much time is devoted STEM?

In some states, nearly half of district school boards prioritized STEM/STEAM-related topics, new Burbio data suggests.

Mental health, CTE, security and SEL: These subjects frequently appear in discussions at school board meetings in districts across the country, especially post-pandemic. Now, you can add STEM to the list.

A national keyword search conducted by K12 data tracker Burbio suggests growing momentum behind STEM-related initiatives at school board meetings as we head into summer. In this month’s dataset, Burbio highlights five states/regions where STEM-centered conversations have been most prominent in their discussions. The share of districts that have mentioned STEM (or STEAM) at least once include:

  • Florida (46.3%)
  • California (43.5%)
  • New England (42.7%)
  • Southern states [AL, MS, NC, TN and SC] (27.5%)
  • Texas (13.3%)

Discussions at school board meetings in these locations have also spent significant amounts of time discussing special education:

  • New England (84.6%)
  • California (82.7%)
  • Southern states (38.6%)
  • Texas (36.3%)
  • Florida (19.5%)

More from DA: This California leader is using AI to expand his reach—and become multilingual

What about K12 grants?

Shifting away from school board discussions, Burbio gathered data that reflects the scope of state-specific funding for K12 schools. Below, you’ll find a chart summarizing 10 of the most common categories of grants, the total number of grants in each category and the market size for the categories listed.

Note: The data represents grants that were available during the 2023-24 school year and several that have been announced for 2024-25.

Professional development Grant count: 296 Projected total: $9,779,034,876
Instruction Grant count: 198 Projected total: $5,151,119,815
Student services/Admin Grant count: 195 Projected total: $3,290,052,360
Mental health/At risk Grant count: 173 Projected total: $2,810,124,573
Healthy Kids Grant count: 148 Projected total: $1,491,519,254
Curriculum – Core Grant count: 145 Projected total: $2,954,034,338
CTE Grant count: 139 Projected total: $4,168,720,202
Curriculum – Non-core Grant count: 129 Projected total: $12,418,805,932
Curriculum – STEM Grant count: 116 Projected total: $407,154,089
Equipment – Other Grant count: 113 Projected total: $6,061,200,537
Micah Ward
Micah Ward
Micah Ward is a District Administration staff writer. He recently earned his master’s degree in Journalism at the University of Alabama. He spent his time during graduate school working on his master’s thesis. He’s also a self-taught guitarist who loves playing folk-style music.

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