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Renton representative joins governor in push for STEM education

Rep. Marcie Maxwell (D-Renton) joined forces with Governor Jay Inslee when they testified before the House Education Committee on Wednesday in support of her bill, HB 1872, which is designed to put more focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education in Washington state.

"STEM literacy really is about living, learning, and working in this 21st Century," said Maxwell during her committee testimony, according to a press release. "This bill will ensure Washington students are ready and best prepared for the jobs that we know we have right now."

HB 1872 creates a STEM Education Innovation Alliance made up of leaders from business and education fields. The alliance will provide vision and guidance for STEM education initiatives in early learning, K-12, and postsecondary education.

The new alliance will be tasked with combining several STEM strategic plans into a comprehensive and aligned "Framework for Action and Accountability."

An estimated 30,000 Washington jobs will go unfilled in the next five years without increased investment in STEM education. Washington employers will be importing talent from other states and countries to fill those positions.

Maxwell has been a leader in pushing for increased STEM investment in Washington state. Maxwell sponsored HB 2159 and HB 2160 which were signed into law. The two bills created competitive aerospace and manufacturing grant programs and required STEM education to be a part of the Professional Educator Standards Board teacher certification process respectively.

Maxwell also participated with the Change the Equation organization- a nation coalition of major corporations that have pledged resources to promote STEM education.

In a recent survey by Washington STEM, 79 percent of respondents agreed that more companies will move to or expand to Washington if the state had a reputation for workers with great science and math skills. Nine out of ten agreed the next generation of Washingtonians will have more opportunities if they have strong STEM skills.

-from a press release

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