Washington STEM informs critical policy decisions

Washington STEM is the go-to resource for Washington policymakers at the state and federal level. We provide non-partisan policy recommendations, inspiring stories of STEM in action, top facts, and actionable insights of what works here in Washington. 

Washington STEM informs critical policy decisions

Washington STEM is the go-to resource for Washington policymakers at the state and federal level. We provide non-partisan policy recommendations, inspiring stories of STEM in action, top facts, and actionable insights of what works here in Washington. 

We work with communities across the state to develop our state policy agenda to ensure state investments and policies drive the best outcomes for Washington’s students and economy.

The Legislature adjourned on March 12th, 2020. With the support of our 15-person policy executive committee, our 10 STEM Networks and King County partners, we’ve created a policy agenda for 2020  that is focused on creating opportunity for students of color, students from low-income backgrounds, students living in rural areas, and girls and young women.

Our policy priorities and outcomes in 2020 are:

Career Pathways

  • Prioritize funding for Leadership Assistance for Science Education Reform (LASER). For more information on this policy priority, read this LASER policy brief from Washington STEM.
    • Outcome:
      • $500,000 to fund Washington LASER programs.
  • Increase funding for Career Connect Washington. For more information on this policy priority, please read this Career Connect Washington policy brief.
    • Outcome:
      • $875,000 to expand career connected learning program intermediary grants
      • $150,000 for a tribal liaison at the office of the superintendent of public instruction
      • $150,000 to create a career connected learning statewide program inventory

Early STEM

  • Investments in Early Learning Coordinators at Education Service Districts across Washington. For more information on this policy priority, please read this Association of Education Service Districts (AESD) policy brief.
    • Outcome:
      • This request was included in a policy omnibus bill SB6253 which did not pass & was not included in the budget for this year.

Our Support Agenda and Outcomes in 2020 are:

  • We supported Early Learning asks on expanding the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP), Working Connections Child Care (WCCC), accessibility in childcare, and supporting struggling providers.
    • Outcome:
      • $32million Increase in Working Connections Child Care rates
      • $15.5million in Working Connections Child Care caseload savings
      • $6million towards Working Connections Child Care copay to help families
      • $9.1million Increase in ECEAP rates and creation of a special needs rate
      • $3.5million to reduces the provider scholarship waitlist and provide additional scholarships
      • For a quick review from our partners at Early Learning Action Alliance, click here.
  • We supported increased funding for the First Nations MESA program
    • Outcome:
      • $135,000 for Washington MESA to continue the first nations MESA program in the Yakima valley.
  • For a quick recap of the Education-related bills Washington STEM was tracking in 2020 and how they fared click here.
  • For a more comprehensive overview of Education policy wins in the 2020 session, please check back on this page for an update in mid-April after the Governor’s deadline to sign bills into law.
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