STATEWIDE SURVEY: WASHINGTON VOTERS OVERWHELMINGLY SUPPORT HIGH-QUALITY STEM EDUCATION FOR ALL STUDENTS
February 7, 2017
SEATTLE, Wash. – 94 percent of Washington voters believe every child should have access to a high-quality science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education in the state’s K-12 public schools. 83 percent think a high-quality STEM education is a necessary part of the state’s obligation to provide basic education, according to a new poll
commissioned by Washington STEM and conducted in January 2017.
The poll findings demonstrate Washington voters particularly support career connected learning and computer science education. 94 percent of voters think it is important for students at every level to have career-connected learning opportunities like internships, youth apprenticeships, and real-world project based learning. Additionally, poll respondents strongly supported expanding the number of K-12 public schools that offer computer science classes (91 percent) and helping more K-12 teachers teach computer science by giving them training and a computer science curriculum (91 percent).
These findings are of particular relevance as Governor Jay Inslee’s office has included funding for public-private partnerships in career connected learning and computer science in his proposed 2016 budget.
Funding for career connected learning and computer science education are top items in statewide nonprofit Washington STEM’s legislative agenda
, which was formed after extensive consultation with business, education, community, and government leaders across the state.
“Across the state, voters overwhelmingly agree that students will have more opportunities if they have a strong foundation in STEM,” said Patrick D’Amelio, chief executive officer at Washington STEM. “This poll shows that Washingtonians want our state’s leaders to take decisive action that ensures every student in Washington who goes through our education system is equipped with strong STEM skillsets.”
Other key findings from the statewide survey include:
· 82 percent of voters agree that increased focus on STEM education in Washington will improve the state’s economy.
· 79 percent agree that increased focus on STEM education will improve the economy in their region.
· 88 percent agree that children who grow up in poverty will have a better chance to break the cycle of poverty if they have a strong STEM education.
· 83 percent believe that ensuring all students have an equal opportunity for a great STEM education, regardless of their gender, race, income, or community, should be a high priority.
Strategies 360 conducted the statewide survey of 600 registered Washington voters from January 4 –9, 2017. The findings have a margin of error of four percent.