Robotics Education Development Program and Robotics Education Fund

Section 188-E:24-a

    188-E:24-a Robotics Education Development Program. –
I. There is established a robotics education development program in the department of education. The purpose of the program is to motivate public school students to pursue educational and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, while building critical life and work-related skills. Grants from the robotics education fund established in RSA 188-E:24 shall be available to any eligible public school or chartered public school for the purpose of financing the establishment of a robotics team and its participation in competitive events. Grant funds shall be limited to the purchase of robotics kits, stipends for coaches, and the payment of associated costs from participation in competitions.
II. To be eligible to participate, a school shall:
(a) Develop a budget for a robotics team;
(b) Partner with at least one sponsor, business entity, institution of higher education, or technical school for support in a robotics program; and
(c) Identify at least one competitive event in which the school will participate.
III. The commissioner shall disburse a grant as a single payment at the beginning of each school year.
IV. Subject to the provisions of paragraph V, no school shall receive more than one grant every 2 years, however, a school district may receive multiple grant awards.
V. (a) If the amount of grant funds requested exceeds the balance in the robotics education fund available in any year, the commissioner shall not prorate the grant awards, but shall assign preference to those schools with a higher percentage of students in the school's average daily membership in attendance who are eligible for a free or reduced-price meal as defined in RSA 198:38. Secondary preference shall be given to schools which did not receive a grant in the previous year due to lack of funds.
(b) In the event that additional funds exist in the fund after all initial grant application requests have been met, the commissioner shall award schools additional grants for additional requested teams in accordance with subparagraph (a). If a school receives a grant for any additional teams, such grant shall be made at the same time as the grant for the initial team. In the event that a school received a grant or grants in the prior year and qualifies for an additional team or teams, such grant shall be made in the usual manner.
VI. The commissioner shall adopt rules pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to developing grant application forms and procedures, establishing deadlines for the submission of applications and the awarding of grants, and establishing criteria for awarding and disbursing grants.
VII. No later than July 15, 2018, and annually thereafter, the department shall issue a report to the governor, senate president, speaker of the house of representatives, the chairpersons of the house and senate education committees, and the state library, detailing the number of grants awarded, the schools receiving grants and the grant amount, the schools that applied for grants but did not receive a grant due to insufficient funds, the number of students participating, the unencumbered balance of the robotics education fund, and any other information the department deems appropriate.

Source. 2017, 156:156, eff. July 1, 2017. 2018, 315:14, eff. Aug. 24, 2018; 362:1, eff. Aug. 31, 2018.