Senator Clausen’s STEM Education Bill Heard in Senate
St. Paul, Minn. – Today, Senator Greg Clausen (DFL – Apple Valley) presented Senate File 158 before the Senate E-12 Finance Committee. The legislation would provide $3 million for the 2017-2018 school year to fund Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) courses in districts across the state. The bill directs the Commissioner of education to award grants of up to $75,000 per course, with priority going to districts which do not have a current STEM program. Members of the Committee received the bill favorably and it was laid over for possible inclusion on the E-12 omnibus finance bill.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to present this important legislation,” said Sen. Clausen. “Our state has a serious need for well-educated workers, including in STEM-related fields. Minnesota can no longer rely on importing our workforce. While we have drawn from the Dakotas, Iowa, and Wisconsin in the past, we need to grow our own workforce for the jobs of today and tomorrow. STEM courses in our schools play an important role in meeting Minnesota’s workforce needs, and I believe these grants will help to encourage more students get interested and involved in the field.”
Senator Clausen was joined by Jim Lynch, the E3 STEM Program Manager at Apple Valley High School, as well as students from the Apple Valley Iron Maidens FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics Team. Atalanta Stoeke and Marie Pena testified in favor of the proposal, as well as Jim Mecklenburg, the Program Director for Project Lead the Way.