Washington STEM: Advocacy Season 2023


As the 2023 Washington legislative season gets underway, Washington STEM, alongside our STEM Network partners, will continue to advance our policy priorities with Washington students of color, rural students, students experiencing poverty, and girls at the center of those efforts.

Early Learning System Improvements: Support the equitable implementation of the Fair Start for Kids Act through improvements to agency measurement and transparency. Support community efforts for increased investments to develop the early child care workforce.

Applying Dual Credit: Increase equitable completion and application of dual credit by bridging the gaps between K-12 and higher education systems.

High School to Postsecondary: Improve the utility of postsecondary- and career-readiness strategies and tools through evidence and community voice.

Learn more about our 2023 Legislative Priorities.


Highlights from the Governor’s Proposed 23-25 Operating Budget

Check out our Washington STEM Bill Tracker for weekly updates on the bills we are monitoring.

For a description of how we review bills and decide which ones to support, check our Washington STEM Legislative Priorities Evaluation Framework.


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 2023 legislative session.
  • Be invited to weekly 30 minutes session update calls (dates and times TBD).
Join the STEM Advocacy Coalition

If you would like to join this advocacy coalition, fill out this sign-up form. Please note that your acceptance to be a part of the Washington STEM Advocacy Coalition will be based on the alignment of your priorities and interests with Washington STEM’s mission and legislative goals.

Regional Network Impact

Washington STEM partners with 10 regional Networks to develop programs and goals specific to local communities. To learn what region serves your local community, check the regional map below.

To learn more about what each regional STEM Network partner is doing to ensure all children have access to the transformational possibilities that STEM skills and education beyond high school can provide, check out the impact stories a little further down.

Apple STEM NetworkCapital STEM AllianceCareer Connect NortheastCareer Connect SouthwestMid-Columbia STEM NetworkNorthwest Washington STEM NetworkSnohomish STEM NetworkSouth Central Washington STEM NetworkTacoma STEAM NetworkWest Sound STEM Network

Apple STEM Network

The Apple STEM Network, serving the North Central region of Washington, is co-directed by the North Central Educational Service District and NCW Tech Alliance. The Network’s business, education, and community partners are working to close credential attainment gaps, especially for rural communities, students of color, and students from low-income families. Learn more about Apple STEM’s programs at their website.

Capital STEM Alliance and STEMKAMP

The Capital STEM Alliance was established in 2017 to organize school, business, and community organizations interested in enhancing career readiness and STEM learning opportunities in the region consisting of Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston counties. New in the Capital STEM Alliance: STEMKAMP 2022 was hosted at Yelm Middle School in August 2022. The camp introduced students in grades 3-8 to a wide range of STEM activities and careers. It also included “Family Day”—an opportunity for STEM professionals to share information about exploring STEM careers.

Career Connect Northeast

Career Connect Northeast is working to transform and expand STEM education opportunities for all youth in the region. Their goal is to reduce the STEM skills gap and grow Washington’s economy. Check out the STEM news in their region.

Career Connect Southwest

Career Connect Southwest (CCSW) consists of three networks across six counties in southwest Washington. CCSW is committed to working with education, business, and community partners to develop a skilled workforce that contribute to a strong economic future in local communities. With support from Lanxess, Career Connect Southwest is providing valuable summer internships to over 40 students across southwest Washington, with a focus on students from rural areas.

Read about how this sponsorship, as well as the participation of local businesses, is making career pathways programming possible.

Mid-Columbia STEM Network

Based in the Tri-Cities, the Mid-Columbia STEM Network serves the Southeast region of Washington. You’re invited to read the fall edition of the Network’s newsletter, The Connector, to learn more about how the Network is working to drive career-connected learning, equity and opportunity throughout the Mid-Columbia region.

Northwest Washington STEM Network

The Northwest Washington STEM Network is based at ESD 189 in Anacortes and serves a region that includes Skagit, Whatcom, Island, and San Juan counties. It aligns K-12 education, higher education, community, and business partners to support STEM learning and opportunity in the region. Visit the Network website to learn more.

Snohomish STEM Network

Do you or someone you know need help to pay for your post-secondary education? Check out these shortform videos crafted by Snohomish STEM Network and partners to learn how the process works. Washington State has one of the most generous financial aid programs in the country, but each year, $50 million in financial aid is left on the table. These videos — created in partnership with College Success Foundation Northwest Coastal, NW Washington STEM Network, and Futures Northwest — aim to help more students access the financial support to make their education dreams come true.

South Central Washington STEM Network

South Central Washington STEM is a region-wide network of cross-sector stakeholders that collaborates to ensure that all of the region’s youth have access to a high-quality STEM education and career connected learning opportunities. Visit them online for more information.

Tacoma STEAM Network and #TacomaMath

The #TacomaMath initiative highlights mathematics around Tacoma to show that math is for everyone. The newest “Special Edition” video, sponsored by Comcast’s Black Employee Network (BEN), shows how you can apply math at your next haircut with Master Barber Elijah Benn. Watch the video!

West Sound STEM Network

West Sound STEM Network’s blog about a recent STEM Café, focused on strategies for teachers to help their students explore post-secondary healthcare career and education options. Read more on their website.

2022 Legislator of the Year Awards

After a statewide nomination process, Washington STEM has selected Representative Dave Paul (10th LD) as the 2022 Legislator of the Year. Rep. Paul was selected was selected for his strong leadership and efforts to increase access to Dual Credit during the 2022 legislative session as the prime sponsor for priority legislation HB 1867: Dual Credit Program Data. Read the press release here.

Visit our Legislator of the Year page to learn more about the awards.

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.


Below, we’ve included links to some resources relevant to the 2023 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.

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.


Dual Credit

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


In The News

We’ll keep you updated on the latest legislative news as the session progresses. Check back soon for the latest updates.