The Republican-controlled House has approved a bill to provide funding to schools in Texas to help fund their expansion and create more STEM-based jobs.
The measure passed in the House Education and the Workforce Committee late on Thursday after a contentious debate over a clause that would require the states to provide up to $100 million for education.
The bill would allocate $25 million over 10 years to help states expand their public education systems and create jobs in STEM fields.
The funding is the largest such allocation by the House to a state in a single bill since President Donald Trump’s 2018 request to spend $1.5 trillion to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure.
The Senate passed a similar bill last month, but the GOP-controlled Senate has not taken up the measure.
The House will likely move the bill to the floor as soon as next week, when it returns from a week-long recess.
The bipartisan bill was sponsored by Republican Rep. Michael Burgess, the chairman of the committee, and Democratic Rep. David Valadao, who serves as the ranking member on the House Appropriations Committee.
The measure was co-sponsored by Democrats Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Los Angeles, and Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas.
“We know that in Texas, we’ve been able to attract new business and to grow our economy and make more Texans’ wages rise, but it’s also important that we continue to invest here in education and other public services,” Burgess said.
“I’m very proud that our committee and our colleagues in the Senate have passed this bill that will bring tens of millions of dollars in support to the state of Texas.
I’m very pleased that it’s going to be signed into law in the next two weeks.”
Under the legislation, states could use up to a certain amount of state funding to cover any additional cost related to expanding or creating new STEM jobs, such as technology transfer or training.
States could also apply to the federal government for additional funding.
The bill directs the Office of Management and Budget to make recommendations to the secretary of education on how to allocate that additional funding, though the administration is still deciding how to distribute the money.
The Trump administration is considering a $1 trillion stimulus package that includes $200 billion for education, as well as funding for technology transfer and STEM training, among other priorities.
Trump’s 2018 proposal called for the U.S. to spend up to 50 percent of its gross domestic product on public schools, with the rest going to states.