ASSEMBLY, No. 192

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2020 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  LINDA S. CARTER

District 22 (Middlesex, Somerset and Union)

Assemblyman  JAMES J. KENNEDY

District 22 (Middlesex, Somerset and Union)

Assemblywoman  BRITNEE N. TIMBERLAKE

District 34 (Essex and Passaic)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblywomen Murphy, Pinkin and Assemblyman Benson

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes “New Jersey STEM Scholars Grant Pilot Program” in Department of Education.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.

  


An Act establishing the “New Jersey STEM Scholars Grant Pilot Program” in the Department of Education. 

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    a.  As used in this section:

     “Afterschool STEM” means educational projects and programs that focus on extra-curricular learning including, but not limited to, science fairs, STEM clubs, monthly labs, and workshops. 

     “Department” means the Department of Education. 

     “Out-of-School STEM” means creative STEM experiences outside of the traditional classroom setting, which better prepare students for STEM work in the classroom and in the workforce. 

     “Project-Based Learning” means creative, STEM-integrated educational programming that focuses on learning through a broad project that includes instruction, substantive content, and reflection, with the goal that students participating in the project will achieve a concrete goal or complete a project. 

     “STEM” means science, technology, engineering (including robotics), or mathematics. 

     b.    The Commissioner of Education shall develop and administer the four-year “New Jersey STEM Scholars Grant Pilot Program” to assist school districts in enhancing STEM education programs for students and increasing access to STEM education programs. 

     c.     The pilot program shall award grants to school districts seeking to create or expand STEM education programs along three distinct areas of concentration: project-based learning, afterschool STEM, and out-of-school STEM. 

     d.    A school district applying for a grant under the pilot program shall submit an application to the commissioner.  The application shall, at a minimum:

     (1)   identify the area or areas of concentration, as enumerated in subsection c. of this section, for which the school district is seeking the grant funding; 

     (2)   include the amount of grant funding being sought by the school district;

     (3)   describe how the grant funding will be used to create new STEM education programs or how the grant funding will supplement existing STEM education efforts; 

     (4)   outline plans for recruiting students to the STEM education programs; 

     (5)   include a description of how the school district will support teachers and other mentors who lead the STEM education programs and participants in the programs;

     (6)   provide a plan for sustaining the programs financially beyond the grant period; and

     (7)   include a method to evaluate the impact of the STEM education programs on participating students. 

     e.     Grant awards shall be allocated to school districts on a competitive basis, in a manner to be determined by the commissioner. 

     f.     Grant funds provided to a school district shall be used to supplement, not supplant, funds used for STEM activities in the district at the time of the application for the grant. 

     g.    There is established within the Department of Education a fund to be known as the “STEM Scholars Grant Fund”, hereinafter referred to as the “fund.” The fund shall be used to provide grants to school districts under the pilot program. 

     (1)   The fund shall be annually credited with money appropriated by the Legislature, any moneys received by the State from corporate donors or other private sector support, and any federal funds which may become available for STEM-related activities. 

     (2)   The department shall seek to secure the use of such funds or other resources from the federal government or private nonprofit or for-profit sources to effectuate the purposes of this act as may be available therefor.

     (3)   No State funds shall be used to support a grant under the pilot program unless there is an appropriation for the pilot program in the annual appropriations act for that fiscal year. 

 

     2.    This act shall first take effect in the first full school year following the date of enactment, but the Commissioner of Education may take such anticipatory administrative action in advance thereof as shall be necessary for the implementation of this act.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would establish the four-year “New Jersey STEM Scholars Grant Pilot Program,” which would provide grants to assist school districts in enhancing STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education programs for students and increasing access to STEM education programs. 

     Applications for grant awards under this pilot program would be submitted to the Commissioner of Education, who would allocate the awards on a competitive basis. 

     The grant awards would be distributed so that school districts can build upon existing STEM education programs or create new education programs along three distinct areas of concentration, namely project-based learning, afterschool STEM, and out-of-school STEM. 

     This bill also establishes within the Department of Education a fund to be known as the “STEM Scholars Grant Fund,” which would be used to provide grants to school districts under the pilot program.  The fund would be annually credited with money appropriated by the Legislature, any moneys received by the State from corporate donors or other private sector support, and any federal funds which may become available for STEM-related activities.  No State funds would be used to support a grant under the pilot program unless there is an appropriation for the pilot program in the annual appropriations act for that fiscal year.