RS 17:4071     

CHAPTER 45. LOUISIANA SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY,

ENGINEERING, AND MATHEMATICS EDUCATION (LaSTEM)

§4071. Louisiana Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Advisory Council; creation; membership; powers, duties, and functions

            A. The Louisiana Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Advisory Council (LaSTEM) is hereby created under the auspices of the Board of Regents to coordinate and oversee the creation, delivery, and promotion of STEM education programs, to increase student interest and achievement in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, to ensure the alignment of education, economic development, industry, and workforce needs, and to increase the number of women who graduate from a postsecondary institution with a STEM degree or credential.

            B. The council shall consist of twenty-nine members as follows:

            (1) The commissioner of higher education, or his designee.

            (2) The secretary of the Department of Economic Development, or his designee.

            (3) The executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission, or his designee.

            (4) The state superintendent of education, or his designee.

            (5) The president of the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, or his designee.

            (6) The president of the Louisiana State University System, or his designee.

            (7) The president of the Southern University System, or his designee.

            (8) The president of the University of Louisiana System, or his designee.

            (9) The president of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, or his designee.

            (10) The executive director of the Louisiana School Boards Association, or his designee.

            (11) The executive director of the Louisiana Association of Principals, or his designee.

            (12) The executive director of the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools, or his designee.

            (13) The president of the Louisiana Science Teachers Association, or his designee.

            (14) The president of the Louisiana Association of Teachers of Mathematics, or his designee.

            (15) Two members who are on the faculty of a Louisiana postsecondary education institution and who teach in a STEM discipline, appointed by the commissioner of higher education.

            (16) The president of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, or his designee.

            (17) Three members with demonstrated interest, experience, and expertise in STEM education, appointed by the governor.

            (18) Three members representing key industries in the state, appointed by the secretary of the Department of Economic Development.

            (19) A member of the Louisiana Senate, appointed by the president of the Senate.

            (20) A member of the Louisiana House of Representatives, appointed by the speaker of the House.

            (21) The chairman of the Louisiana Workforce Investment Council, or his designee.

            (22) The president of the Louisiana Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, or his designee.

            (23) The president of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers, or his designee.

            (24) The president of the Louisiana Association of Educators, or his designee.

            C. Vacancies shall be filled in the manner of appointment.

            D. Members shall serve without compensation or reimbursement of expenses, other than what may be afforded by their appointing authority. Legislative members of the council shall receive the same per diem and reimbursement of travel expenses as is provided for legislative committee meetings under the rules of the respective house in which they serve.

            E. The council shall be chaired by the commissioner of higher education or his designee. The secretary of the Department of Economic Development, or his designee, shall serve as the initial vice chairman of the council. Thereafter, the vice chairmanship shall alternate on a triennial basis between the state superintendent of education, or his designee, the secretary of the Department of Economic Development, or his designee, and the executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission, or his designee. The council may elect such other officers as it deems necessary.

            F. The council shall meet monthly and at such other times as called by the chairman. Beginning August 31, 2018, the council shall be required to meet only quarterly. The commissioner of higher education shall convene the first meeting of the council not later than September 15, 2017.

            G. A majority of the total membership shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business and all actions taken by the council shall require the affirmative vote of the majority of the members present and voting.

            H. As funding allows, the council shall:

            (1) Create a comprehensive, statewide STEM plan that contains clear objectives to guide the development of STEM education and STEM career opportunities and aligns elementary, secondary, and postsecondary STEM curricula, programs, initiatives, and activities.

            (2) Coordinate all state STEM education-related programs and activities.

            (3) Create a new STEM culture and promote activities that raise awareness of STEM education and STEM career opportunities.

            (4) Integrate employers and educators by engaging business and industry, employers, professional and community-based organizations, and other stakeholders in STEM education and career and talent programs and activities.

            (5) Encourage industry and business entities to provide funding, resources, and technical assistance to elementary, secondary, and postsecondary schools to promote interest in STEM discipline courses and career opportunities.

            (6) Connect STEM education resources, initiatives, and programs regionally and throughout the state.

            (7) Establish an information clearinghouse, to be housed at the Board of Regents, to identify and provide best practice resources for both the secondary and postsecondary educational systems and to review and acquire STEM education-related instructional materials.

            (8) Empower STEM teachers and provide support for high quality professional development for teachers of STEM subjects.

            (9) As appropriate, join and participate in a national STEM network and collaborate with other states in STEM education program development.

            (10) Establish a competitive grants program to fund robotics competitions to provide students at all appropriate grade levels opportunities to improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics skills by participating in events sponsored by a science and technology development program known as FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics. The program may be funded through the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education Fund and any other available public or private funds.

            I. The council may:

            (1) Establish such subcommittees and workgroups as the council deems necessary and appropriate to carry out its duties and responsibilities.

            (2) Solicit funds, contributions, and grants from any allowable source to implement the provisions of this Section and to further STEM education in the state.

            (3) Seek the expertise and services of individuals and entities outside its membership for research, advice, and other needs as required to carry out the council's mission.

            J. The council, through the Board of Regents, shall submit a status report regarding all actions taken to implement the provisions of this Section, including metrics that measure the success of implementing council activities and initiatives and any recommendations for legislation or policy changes, to the Senate Committee on Education and the House Committee on Education by January thirtieth of each year.

            Acts 2017, No. 392, §1, eff. June 23, 2017.

NOTE: See Acts 2017, No. 392, §3, that provides that the Act does not supercede the powers of the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Board of Regents, or the postsecondary education management boards as prescribed by law.