Washington STEM: Advocacy Season 2022
This year, we are supporting proposals, bills, and initiatives that strengthen and create educational opportunities for historically excluded students in our state through systems improvements in early STEM, increased access to computer science supports, more robust reporting on dual credit, and expansion of career connected learning opportunities.
WASHINGTON STEM POLICY PRIORITIES FOR THE 2022 LEGISLATIVE SESSION:
- Systems Improvements in Early STEM: Support the ongoing creation and usage of the State of the Children reports which provide an in-depth look at the health of our early learning and childcare systems. Watch hearing here.
— Children Youth & Families Committee video also available.
- Equitable access to Computer Science: Increase access to Computer Science by supporting regional implementation, community partnerships & strategic planning through the Educational Service District regional structure. read more here
- Annual Reporting on equitable Access to Dual Credit: Enable evidence based, systems-change discussions on Dual Credit in Washington state through data disaggregation and accountability metrics. Watch hearing here.
— K12 Education Committee video also available.
- Expansion of Career Connected Learning Opportunities (Career Connect WA) read more here
Learn more about our 2022 Legislative Priorities in this 5 min presentation from the 2021 Washington STEM Summit.
- For a printable version of our 2022 legislative agenda, please click here.
- For a description of how we review bills and decide which ones to support, check our Washington STEM Legislative Priorities Evaluation Framework.
- Click here for a link to a recent PowerPoint deck describing our legislative priorities.
- For a list of the bills we are weighing in on please see our 2022 Bill Tracker.
Special thanks to our 2022 Policy Committee for their support in the development of these legislative priorities: Chanel Hall, Director, Tacoma STEM Network; Lorie Thompson, Director, Capital Region STEM Network; Jolenta Coleman-Bush, Senior Program Manager, Education & Workforce, Microsoft Philanthropies; Lindsay Lovlien, Senior Program Officer, Policy & Advocacy, Gates Foundation; Brian Jeffries, Policy Director, Washington Roundtable; Kristin Wiggins, Policy Consultant & Lobbyist, ELAA, ECEAP & Moms Rising; Jessica Dempsey, Career Connected Learning Coordinator, CTE Director, Educational Service District 101; Molly Jones, Vice President of Public Policy, Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA); Shirline Wilson, Executive Director, Education Reform Now; Fernando Mejia-Ledesma, Washington State Lead Organizer, Communities for Our Colleges; Kairie Pierce, Lead Workforce Development Director, Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO.
The Washington STEM Advocacy Coalition
The Washington STEM Advocacy Coalition exists to collect and distribute information focused on statewide education policy and to provide feedback and evidence-based recommendations to the Washington Legislature.
Members of this advocacy coalition will:
- Receive weekly email updates and action alerts during the 2022 legislative session.
- Be invited to weekly 30 minutes session update calls on Friday at 12:00pm during the 2022 legislative session.
Regional Network Impact Reports
Washington STEM partners with 10 regional Networks to develop programs and goals specific to local communities. Learn more about the impact of our STEM Networks, partnerships, and initiatives in these regional reports:
2021 Legislator of the Year Awards
Washington STEM is pleased to announce Senator Claire Wilson (LD30) and Representative Tana Senn (LD41) are the recipients of the 2021 Legislator of Year awards. Rep. Senn and Sen. Wilson were selected in a statewide nomination process for their leadership and efforts to pass the Fair Start for Kids Act in the 2021 legislative session.
Visit our Legislator of the Year page to learn more about the awards and hear directly from the legislators in video messages from the awardees.
Washington STEM’s Legislator of the Year Award is presented annually to members of the State Legislature who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership in advancing legislation and policies that promote excellence, innovation, and equity in science, technology, engineering, and math education for all Washington students, especially those furthest from opportunity.
You can learn more about the 2020 awardees here.
Below, we’ve included links to some resources relevant to the 2022 legislative priorities. We will continue to add to this list as new resources become available.
Early Learning: Regional Reports
Washington STEM’s partnerships with state and local programs and organizations continue to support systems-level change in Early Learning. Some of the resources created for this work are included below.
Regional State of the Children Reports
Washington STEM and Washington Communities for Family and Children (WCFC) have developed a series of reports titled State of the Children: Early Learning & Care. The reports shine a light on the precarious position of Washington’s early learning systems. In these reports, you’ll find data and stories that touch on the economic impacts of childcare on Washington families, the state of the early learning workforce in Washington, data on affordability, access, and quality, the impacts of COVID-19 on our early systems, and more.
- Southwest Region WA – State of the Children: Early Learning and Care
- Spokane and Inland Northwest Region WA – State of the Children: Early Learning and Care
- Pierce County, WA – State of the Children: Early Learning and Care
- Olympia, Grays Harbor, and Pacific Mountain Region WA – State of the Children: Early Learning and Care
- Northwest Region WA – State of the Children: Early Learning and Care
- Kitsap, Jefferson, and Clallam and North Olympic Region WA – State of the Children: Early Learning and Care
- North Central Region WA – State of the Children: Early Learning and Care
- South Central Region WA – State of the Children: Early Learning and Care
- Southeast Region WA – State of the Children: Early Learning and Care
- King County, WA – State of the Children: Early Learning and Care
For more information on sources and citations for the report series, please refer to our sources PDF.
Early Learning: Story Time STEM
In 2017, Washington STEM partnered with Story Time STEM (STS) to grow their footprint of essential, meaningful resources focused on mathematical thinking during a child’s reading experiences. That partnership has continued to flourish in the years since and we’re thrilled to announce a suite of new, free resources produced by STS and hosted on the Washington STEM website.
Story Time STEM Modules
Access the new, interactive guide designed for caregivers, educators, and librarians here. Additional modules will be added to this webpage as they are developed.
In 2021, Washington STEM partnered with Eisenhower High School and OSPI to create a scalable approach to improving equity in dual credit programs. You can read more about this work and the tools developed during the study in the links below.
Dual Credit Toolkit and Related Articles
- Read about our work with Eisenhower High school to help build a more-equitable dual credit program.
- A recent blog also discusses the work with Eisenhower High School and the importance of centering student voices in the work to improve dual credit.
- The work with Eisenhower resulted in the creation of the Equitable Dual Credit Toolkit, available for download here.
In The News
Voices across Washington are discussing the 2022 legislative priorities in the media. For more context on each of the priorities, please read some of the articles below. We will continue to update this list as new articles are published.
Legislative Priorities in the news
- Watch Governor Inslee sign HB 1867, which will improve support for Dual Credit Programs
- Dual-credit courses in high school to get a jump on college should be free (Seattle Times, 3 min read)
- Fund local solutions to nurturing a more educated Washington workforce (Seattle Times, 2 min read)
- Launching students into postsecondary and career pathways will support economic recovery (Wenatchee World, 4 min read)
- Give every student access to computer-science education (Seattle Times, 2 min read)
- 2021 Behavioral Health Workforce Report (direct link to long-form report)
- Spread the word on state’s programs for alternate career and apprenticeship pathways (Seattle Times, 2 min read)
- Partnership for Learning Report: WA’s Postsecondary Enrollment Crisis Intensifies. According to this new report from the Washington Roundtable and Partnership for Learning, employers will add 373,000 net new jobs in Washington state over the next five years. An estimated 70% of these jobs will require or be filled by workers with a post-high school credential. The report highlights how increasing the postsecondary enrollment rate is the most significant opportunity to accelerate progress toward 70% credential attainment. Read the report here and the fact sheet here.
- Puget Sound Business Journal: WA’s economy demands more support for students to complete credentials. In this opinion article, Jane Broom of Microsoft Philanthropies shares how our state can support students’ postsecondary education enrollment and credential attainment this legislative session.
- The Spokesman-Review: Students need legislative action to get back on college and career pathways. In this recent op-ed, Gonzaga University student Asha Douglas shares the importance of addressing postsecondary enrollment declines, and how our state can help more students start and stay in post-high school education through strategies such as outreach and community navigators. Read it here.
- The Olympian: Colleges need legislative support to help transfer students attain 4-year degrees. In this op-ed, Western Washington University president Sabah Randhawa and Olympic College president Marty Cavalluzzi write about the need to increase WA students’ credential attainment and how state legislators can help colleges and universities.
- The Seattle Times: Continuing education can unlock family-wage careers. In this op-ed, WSAC chair Jeff Vincent shares how regional partnerships can help more students succeed in post-high school pathways.
- The Wenatchee World: Launching students into postsecondary and career pathways will support economic recovery. A recent op-ed from Gene Sharratt from the Center for Educational Effectiveness and Sue Kane from the North Central Educational Service District highlights the importance of taking bold action to increase post-high school enrollment and credential attainment through state- and community-level strategies.
- The Centralia Chronicle: How to Better Support Students in Their Journey From High School to College. In this op-ed, Centralia College student Josiah Johnson and Seattle Central College student Jocelyn Daniels share how regional partnerships helped them transition from high school to college, and how legislators can support more students.
- Tacoma News Tribune: As president of TCC’s Black Student Union, I know Tacoma colleges need more state support. Tacoma Community College graduate Stephanie Tisby shares her educational journey and how legislators can help more students succeed after high school in this op-ed.