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     Idaho Statutes

67-823.  COORDINATION OF POLICY AND PROGRAMS RELATED TO SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING AND MATH EDUCATION IN IDAHO. (1)  There is hereby created in the office of the governor the "Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Action Center" and the STEM action center board. The administrator of the STEM action center shall be the official in the state designated to coordinate and oversee implementation of STEM programs; to promote STEM through best practices in education to ensure connection with industry and Idaho’s long-term economic prosperity; to produce an Idaho STEM-competitive workforce to offer better access to competitive employment opportunities; and to drive student experience, engagement and industry alignment by identifying and implementing public and higher education STEM best practices to transform workforce development.
(2)  The STEM action center board shall consist of the following nine (9) members:
(a)  The director of the department of commerce, or his designee;
(b)  The director of the department of labor, or his designee;
(c)  One (1) member of the state board of education;
(d)  The superintendent of public instruction, or her designee; and
(e)  Five (5) members appointed by the governor, who shall serve at the pleasure of the governor for terms of four (4) years, and who shall be residents of the state and represent manufacturing or STEM-related industries. The board’s chairman will be elected annually by the members of the board.
(3)  A vacancy occurring other than by expiration of term shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment and for the balance of the unexpired term.
(4)  The duties of the STEM action center shall include:
(a)  Coordinate all state departments and divisions on STEM-related activities;
(b)  Perform industry needs and education process foci on industry career talent, gap analysis and needs assessment to lead future STEM teacher professional development activities and goals;
(c)  Align public education STEM activities with higher education STEM activities;
(d)  Identify and coordinate best practices among public education and higher education;
(e)  Strategically engage industry and business entities to cooperate with the STEM action center and focus outcomes and goals on workforce needs and opportunities;
(f)  Support high quality professional development focused on career readiness and talent development and provide other assistance for educators and students;
(g)  Work cooperatively with the Idaho department of education and the Idaho state board of education to define and implement pilot programs and select schools to:
(i)   Further STEM education;
(ii)  Ensure best practices are implemented; and
(iii) Integrate research and document results of that research; and
(h)  Engage private entities to provide additional funding and/or in-kind employee time for STEM activities in schools supporting industry career readiness in addition to what is currently provided by private entities.
(5)  The duties and oversight of the STEM action center shall not interfere or conflict with the duties and oversight of the state board of education.
(6)  As funding allows, the administrator of the STEM action center shall:
(a)  Support high-quality professional development for educators regarding STEM education;
(b)  Ensure the STEM action center acts as a research and development center for tools and best practice in STEM education coordination and development;
(c)  Review and acquire STEM education related instructional materials and products for:
(i)   Educator high-quality professional development;
(ii)  Assessment, data collection, analysis and reporting; and
(iii) Public school instruction; and
(d)  Facilitate participation in interscholastic STEM related competitions, fairs, expositions, camps and STEM education student programs;
(e)  Engage private industry in the development and maintenance of the STEM action center and STEM action center projects;
(f)  Use resources to bring the latest STEM content, 21st century skills and hands-on STEM education resources into public education classroom schools;
(g)  Annually identify at least five (5) best practice innovations used in Idaho schools that have resulted in growth in interest and performance in STEM by students and teachers involved in pilot programs, math academies and STEM projects;
(h)  Identify best practices being used outside the state and, as appropriate, develop and implement selected practices through pilot programs;
(i)  As appropriate, join and participate in a national STEM network and collaborate with neighboring states in STEM program development;
(j)  Identify performance changes linked to use of the best practices;
(k)  Support best methods of high-quality professional development for STEM education in kindergarten through grade 12, including methods of high-quality professional development pilot programs that reduce cost and increase effectiveness, implement practices that support industry career readiness and talent development, and help educators learn how to most effectively implement STEM best practices, 21st century skills and STEM resources in classrooms;
(l)  Support targeted high-quality professional development for improved instruction in K-12 STEM education, including:
(i)   Improved instructional materials and resources that are dynamic and engaging for students;
(ii)  Targeted instruction for students who traditionally avoid enrolling in STEM courses;
(iii) Introduction of engaging engineering and other STEM programs;
(iv)  Use of applied instruction; and
(v)   Introduction of other research-based methods that support student achievement in STEM areas; and
(m)  Provide an Idaho best practices STEM resource database, including best practices from public education, higher education, informal STEM partners and other STEM related entities.
(7)  The board may prescribe other duties for the STEM action center in addition to the responsibilities described in this section.
(8)  The administrator shall track and compare the growth of students participating in a STEM action center program to all other similarly situated students in the state, in the following STEM related activities, at the beginning and end of each year:
(a)  Public education high school graduation rates;
(b)  The number of students taking STEM courses at an institution of public higher education;
(c)  The number of students who graduate from an Idaho public school and begin a postsecondary education program; and
(d)  The number of students, as compared to all similarly situated students, who are performing at grade level in STEM classes.
(9)  The STEM action center board may:
(a)  Enter into contracts for the purposes of this section;
(b)  Apply for, receive and disburse funds, contributions or grants from any source for the purposes set forth in this section; and
(c)  Employ, compensate and prescribe the duties and powers of individuals necessary to execute the duties and powers of the board for the STEM action center.
(10)  The board shall report the progress of the STEM action center, including the information described in subsection (4) of this section, to the following groups once each year:
(a)  The house and senate education committees;
(b)  The governor’s office;
(c)  The joint finance-appropriations committee; and
(d)  The state board of education.
(11)  The report described in subsection (10) of this section shall include information that demonstrates the effectiveness of the program, including:
(a)  The number of educators receiving high-quality STEM professional development;
(b)  The number of students receiving services from the STEM action center; and the number of students participating in STEM camps, academies, pilot programs and classroom STEM activities;
(c)  A report on the STEM action center’s fulfillment of its duties; and
(d)  Student performance of students participating in a STEM action center program.
[67-823, added 2015, ch. 304, sec. 1, p. 1202.]

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