Otter STEM Action Center fund: ‘Think endowment’

It’s one of Gov. Butch Otter’s various funding requests for education: a big boost in funding for the state’s fledgling STEM Action Center.

The centerpiece of the plan would transfer $10 million of general fund dollars into another fund — one that would cover grants and professional development to advance the “STEM” disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math.

Otter coding
Gov. Butch Otter, seen here participating in an “Hour of Code” program with Boise fifth-graders in December, is seeking $10 million to create a STEM Action Center fund.

Through a spokesman, Otter emphasized that the $10 million represents a long-term funding plan, designed to entice matching donations from business partners. The center would have no more than $2 million in spending authority.

“Think endowment,” Otter spokesman Jon Hanian said Wednesday. “Please also know that the $10 million in that one-time fund transfer is not funding for one year or even two years.”

For more about the STEM Action Center budget request, and the reaction from legislators, here’s a link to my story from Monday.