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2018 LEGISLATIVE RECOMMENDATIONS

Legislative Session 2018: Recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature

In today’s world, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) knowledge and skills have led to scientific and technological innovations that have permeated our everyday lives and brought immense benefits and challenges. In order to ensure that our youth and adults can compete for exciting new careers in STEM, the STEM Education Innovation Alliance recommends increasing STEM education and career-connected learning opportunities from kindergarten to graduate school.

These strategies must include a focus on increasing participation of underrepresented students and reengaging working adults in postsecondary STEM programs. While most of the recommendations are specific to STEM education, progress is dependent upon a strong foundation through a high quality, well-funded and well-aligned early learning, K–12 and postsecondary education system.

*Includes a private match component.

Inspire interest in and preparation for STEM careers through career-connected learning and enhanced STEM curricula.

  • Provide additional math support to K–2 students who need it, and professional learning for K–2 teachers to implement math
  • Integrate the High School and Beyond plan into the school curriculum, beginning in Grade 8.
  • Assign computer science specialists at all educational service districts and ensure initiatives reach all students in the district.
  • Expand computer science and education grants to build foundational math skills in elementary school, provide teacher training, make technology purchases and support equity of access for historically underserved groups, including girls and students from low-income, rural and ethnic minority communities.*
  • Provide work-based learning and state-approved industry apprenticeships to high school students integrating academic and occupational curricula, and support training and time to implement the new programs.*
  • Support funding for professional development strategies that support the Next Generation Science standards.
  • Expand dual credit opportunities in STEM: e.g fully fund College in the High School, provide support for books and transportation in Running Start for low-income students, and support K–12 to postsecondary articulation of STEM dual credit opportunities that includes CTE dual credit.
  • Provide funding for STEM laboratories, equipment, and classrooms in K–12. (Capital budget)

Support collaboration of industry, educators, foundations, and related state and local government entities to design STEM education strategies, including a focus on equitable access and retention.

  • The power of partnership has been invaluable in identifying needs, goals and strategies that will support STEM in the future. The STEM Education Innovation Alliance requests funding support for the partnership to continue this vital collaboration.

Expand postsecondary STEM education, with a focus on equitable access and retention.

Expand financial aid opportunities to increase equity of access and retention in STEM programs:

  • Rebuild State Work Study and increase the state share of match for positions in STEM fields. This form of financial aid is available for both undergraduate and graduate students at both public and independent schools.*
  • Fully fund the State Need Grant to serve 21,000 students who are eligible but unserved. It is estimated that 25 percent of students receiving SNG are in STEM.
  • Expand the Opportunity Scholarship to students in professional-technical certificate and degree programs as well as programs that address the healthcare skills gap.*
  • Provide Tech Apprenticeship Training stipends to support adults returning to pursue STEM education.*

Expand postsecondary STEM education opportunities:

  • Support college and university operating and capital budget requests:
    • UW: Funding for continued enrollment expansion in Computer Science & Engineering.
    • TESC: CS (network analysis, robotics, and cybersecurity) program development and expansion that leverages private and National Science Foundation grant funding and alumni donations, including applied learning experiences for students and faculty.
    • CWU: Game On (Coding in K–12) and Cybersecurity program development and expansion. Support curriculum development for CS endorsement (teacher preparation).
    • WWU: STEM bottleneck reduction and gateway program expansion (math, physics and chemistry) and high-demand STEM program expansion (CS, engineering and pre- health sciences). Includes pre-advising and cohort support model for improved outcomes for underserved students. Marine, coastal and watershed sciences program expansion; and the Poulsbo Marine Science Center.
    • WSU: Renewable Energy Program start-up and maintenance funding to implement Senate Bill 5939; and the Joint Center for Deployment and Research in Earth Abundant Materials (JCDREAM) in collaboration with the Pacific Northwest Laboratory and the University of Washington to develop and commercialize next-generation technologies. These technologies are designed to support energy security, economic stability and environmentally sound stewardship.
    • EWU: Provide funding to support the Interdisciplinary Science Building to enable growth of 20 percent in the STEM college.
    • Support SBCTC Guided Pathways planning funding for 22 colleges to organize courses along clear career paths. This initiative focuses on helping more students, especially low- income, first-generation students and students of color, to pursue pathways that lead into the workforce or into a college or university for further education. Career pathways include STEM-focused fields such as science, information technology, allied health, and advanced manufacturing technologies.
    • Expand work-based learning and state- approved industry apprenticeships.*

 

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