We know that STEM skills are an important part of filling jobs of the 21st century. Competitive robotics has become a fun and popular way for students to get hooked with a passion for STEM skills and activities.
In past years, the state has provided up to $3 million in grants for schools to start and grow extracurricular robotics teams.
That grant funding for robotics teams has been pulled from the Michigan House version of the School Aid Budget. We need your help to get it restored in conference committee.
OUR ASK: Support the Senate version of Section 99h of the School Aid budget.
Last year, changes to Section 99h of the 2018-2019 School Aid Fund budget allowed for both FIRST and VEX competitive robotics programs to be eligible for state robotics grants. In addition, legislators boosted the eligible statewide grant pool to $4 million for both VEX and FIRST Robotics programs.
These small but significant changes led to explosive growth in both the number of new teams and competitions in over 450 school districts around the state. That means: more districts, more students, more excitement, and more STEM!
What’s even more exciting is that nearly half of that growth came from students and school districts in northern Michigan.
In your letter or contact with legislators, you may wish to include some of the rough growth numbers from last year’s budget:
Please ask the legislators below to support the Michigan Senate version of section 99h of the FY 2019-2020 School Aid Budget. The Senate retains the language under 99h that allows multiple robotics programs in ALL schools and increases the budget for grants statewide by $200,000.
Contact these legislators today and ask for their support of the Senate version of Section 99h in the School Aid Budget:
|Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield||LeeChatfield@house.mi.gov
|Representative Triston Cole, Majority Floor Leader||TristonCole@house.mi.gov
|Representative Shane Hernandez, Chair, Appropriations Committee (House)
|Representative Aaron Miller, Chair, K-12 Appropriations Subcommittee (House)||AaronMiller@house.mi.gov
|State Senator Wayne Schmidt, Chair, K-12 Appropriation Subcommittee (Senate)||SenWSchmidt@senate.michigan.gov
|State Senator Jim Stamas, Chair, Appropriations Committee (Senate)||SenJStamas@senate.michigan.gov
Dear Representative/Senator XX,
I am writing today to respectfully ask your support for including the Senate version of Section 99h of the School Aid Budget for FY 2019-2020. The Senate version maintains funding for grants to all school districts for competitive robotics programs with FIRST and VEX robotics platforms.
We know that STEM skills are an important part of filling jobs of the 21st century. Competitive robotics has become a fun and popular way for students to get hooked and grow passionate about STEM skills and activities. Thanks to the work of the legislature and administration in making STEM learning a priority, competitive robotics teams are growing in Michigan above the world average. This has come from dedicated teachers, parents and students – and a small, yet mighty investment from the State of Michigan.
We urge you to ask your colleagues on the School Aid Budget conference committee to support the Senate version of Section 99h, which has a proven track record of fueling competitive robotics and STEM growth in our state.