The Rural STEM Expansion Act Signed Into Law

Sacramento– Today, Assembly Republican Whip, Devon J. Mathis (R-Porterville), announced that Governor Newsom has signed his bill, Assembly Bill (AB) 1923, into law. This bill requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to prioritize proposals for new partnership academies in a manner that addresses the participation of pupils traditionally underrepresented in career technical education or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs or professions.

“For too long, students in rural and disadvantaged communities have severely lacked access to quality STEM programs,” said Mathis. “STEM programs have a proven track record of educational success and better prepare students for the jobs and careers of the future.  I’m grateful that Governor Newsom recognized the value that AB 1923 brings to our rural and disadvantaged communities.” 

Data indicates that STEM learning opportunities are not equally accessible across the state, and in too many cases race, zip code, and socioeconomic status determines the availability of quality STEM classes. As STEM partnership academies, a proven Career Technical Education program, are developed, this bill requires priority to proposals that address the participation of pupils traditionally underrepresented in STEM which will address the inequity in access to quality STEM programs.

“I’m beyond grateful for the unanimous, bipartisan support that AB 1923 received as it moved through the legislative process,” said Mathis.  “Additionally, I am grateful for the support received by a wide array of professions and stakeholders, showcasing the issue of access to quality educational programs to be one that is not partisan, but essential.”

 “The California Manufacturers & Technology Association (CMTA) is pleased that Governor Newsom has signed AB 1923 (Mathis),” said Lance Hastings, President and CEO of CMTA.  “California manufacturers are leaders in STEM fields and technologies that are influential in supporting pathways for educational opportunities. However, we know there are challenges in access to these programs. AB 1923 will help alleviate these challenges in the future by giving prioritization to our disadvantaged and underserved communities and providing more pathways of opportunity to high paying jobs.”

In addition to CMTA, AB 1923 is supported by the American Society of Civil Engineers, California Association of Professional Scientists, California Chamber of Commerce, City of Tulare, Office of the Riverside County Superintendent of Schools, and Project Lead the Way.