To Members of the Judiciary Committee-
On behalf of the STEM Education Coalition, we urge you to support the bipartisan Hatch #9 Amendment, which will help prepare current and future U.S. students for the best, high-paying jobs of the 21st Century in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. We applaud Senators Coons and Klobuchar for co-sponsoring this proposal.
Our nation’s future depends in great degree on our own home-grown STEM workforce and it makes great sense to establish a broadly-based STEM education initiative – funded through fees collected from U.S. employers of foreign STEM workers – as a component of immigration reform legislation. The Hatch #9 amendment would do exactly that by establishing a $1000 employer fee on each Green Card labor certification that would be dedicated to provide each state with resources through the Department of Education to improve STEM education at the K-12 and university levels. The Hatch #9 Amendment would further improve the bill by complimentingprovisions already included in Manager’s Amendment which strengthen programs at the National Science Foundation that target STEM education and focus on broadening the diversity and capacity of the STEM education pipeline.
Recently, a group of more than 30 education, professional, and business organizations called on the Senate to include a robust STEM education provision in immigration reform legislation. Our Coalition supports the Hatch #9 Amendment as a means to do that. As that letter states “Simply put, if we are to keep up with our global competitors, we had better step up our investments in STEM education.”
Why is STEM Education a National Priority?
- Council on Foreign Relations: “60 percent of U.S. employers are having difficulties finding qualified workers to fill vacancies at their companies.
- Change the Equation: “In the current overall employment market, unemployed people outnumber job postings 3.6 to one. In the STEM occupations, job postings outnumbered unemployed people by 1.9 to one.”
- National Governors Association Center for Best Practices: “At all levels of educational attainment, STEM job holders earn 11 percent higher wages compared with their same-degree counterparts in other jobs.”
- Georgetown Center for Education and the Workforce: “47 percent of Bachelor’s degrees in STEM occupations earn more than PhDs in non-STEM occupations.”
Attached are further facts and statistics outlining the case for STEM education, good jobs, and U.S. competitiveness.
-James and Jodi
STEM Education Coalition
Chair, STEM Education Coalition
Assistant Executive Director, Legislative and Public Affairs
National Science Teachers Association