Portland, OR – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley visited Boise-Eliot/Humboldt school in North Portland today to discuss his Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education legislation that he introduced last week. Merkley also unveiled legislation that he is preparing to introduce that would provide grants for career technical education (CTE) to middle and high schools. These CTE grants would establish more hands-on technical education in our middle and high school classrooms and train students for the workforce.
“America is spending too little on education and shortchanging our economic future,” Merkley said, “We need to make sure that our children are the most educated and well prepared for the global economy. That starts with more STEM education in our schools to train the next generation of engineers, while also exposing our middle and high school students to career technical education to train the next generation of scientists and engineers, while also exposing our middle and high school students to career technical education relevant for manufacturing, welding, and woodworking.”
Boise-Eliot/Humboldt is a K-8 STEM school and has integrated STEM education throughout their entire school curriculum. Merkley met with administrators and teachers to learn how they are achieving this goal. Elementary and middle school students also got the opportunity to meet with the Senator and show and discuss their STEM projects.
The STEM Education for the Global Economy Act that Senator Merkley introduced last week will help improve instruction in STEM subjects. The legislation aims to:
- Improve student engagement in, and increase student access to, courses in STEM subjects;
- Recruit, train, and support highly-effective teachers in STEM subjects and providing robust tools and supports for students and teachers;
- Close student achievement gaps, and prepare more students to be on track to college and career readiness.
Merkley also plans to introduce legislation that establishes a grant program to support middle and high school CTE programs that provide more hands-on technical education. The purpose of these grants would be:
- To enhance collaboration between education providers and employers;
- Develop or enhance career and technical education programs of study;
- Assess the ability of career and technical education programs to meet workforce needs; and
- Give students the skills required for high-demand, high-skill jobs.