Wednesday, April 08, 2020

(Courtesy of Teach Coalition) More than 25 mother/daughter teams from five Brooklyn yeshivot spent a recent Thursday morning lobbying their local state legislators to fully fund STEM instruction in nonpublic schools. Organized by Teach NYS, a leading voice for nonpublic schools in New York State, the mother/daughter lobbying teams held 30-minute meetings with the legislators. During these meetings, the teams introduced the legislators to their STEM teachers while also showcasing STEM projects from their schools as a way to illustrate the impact of STEM education on young women and girls.

According to a study conducted by the National Association of Manufacturers and Deloitte, there will be 3.5 million STEM jobs in the U.S. by 2027 and 2 million will go unfilled. In New York, the state’s Department of Labor predicts a 67% 10-year growth rate of STEM jobs by 2026. The challenge of developing a robust STEM workforce is especially acute when it comes to engaging young women and girls. According to a recent study by Girls Who Code, only 25% of all STEM-based workers and managers will be women in 2027.

“Our girls are brimming with interest, talent and ideas, and it’s important for our STEM faculty to channel them into the right outlets,” said Rachel Tabush, who helped organize the event and attended with her daughter, Valerie, a fifth grader at Yeshivah of Flatbush. “Our teachers play a significant role in mentoring and influencing our children, and proper funding ensures that we have the most qualified people in these most crucial positions.”

Participating schools included Yeshivah of Flatbush, Yeshivah Shaare Torah, Magen David Yeshivah, Yeshiva Darche Eres and Barkai Yeshivah. Teach NYS trained participants during the weeks leading up to their meetings and is currently preparing hundreds of yeshiva students from across New York State for a lobbying day in Albany, which will take place on March 17.

“The World Economic Form predicts that 65% of children entering primary school today will end up working in jobs that don’t even exist yet,” said Sydney Altfield, Teach NYS’ director of grassroots engagement. “In order to prepare our children, we must ensure that they are receiving a high-quality STEM education. We are asking New York State to fully fund STEM instruction at our nonpublic schools.”

Information about Teach NYS’s March 17 “Mission to Albany” can be found at https://teachcoalition.org/nys/albanymission/.

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