2005 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Nunnelee
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO ESTABLISH A STUDY COMMITTEE TO STUDY SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING AND MATHEMATICS (STEM) EDUCATION IMPROVEMENT AND COMPETITIVENESS IN MISSISSIPPI; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
WHEREAS, the Legislature finds that:
(a) Educating tomorrow's scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians is of critical importance to the state's economy and that public policy is needed to address effective science, technology, engineering and mathematics education at all levels;
(b) Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, in concert with scientific research, entrepreneurship and business formation, is the foundation for economic growth and development;
(c) There appears to be a logical educational continuum with which the knowledge of science, technology, engineering and mathematics is cumulative;
(d) Without a strong K-12 educational system, the potential educational and economic impact of universities is severely diminished, yet the strands of middle and high school mathematics and science education do not proceed seamlessly into college and university degree programs, and the cumulative benefits of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are less than they could be:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That:
(1) There is established a Study Committee to Study Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education Improvement and Competitiveness in Mississippi to study the effects of (a) increasing the number and quality of math, science, technology and pre-engineering teachers; (b) establishing and coordinating partnerships that strengthen and promote the science, technology, engineering and mathematics continuum; (c) encouraging students to consider science, engineering and technology careers; and (d) building 21st Century educational infrastructure, organizations and communities. The study committee shall make a report of its findings and recommendations to the Legislature before December 15, 2005.
(2) The study committee shall be composed of the following twelve (12) members:
(a) Three (3) members of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House, one (1) of whom shall be the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee and one (1) of whom shall be the Chairman of the Education Committee;
(b) Three (3) members of the Senate appointed by the Lieutenant Governor, one (1) of whom shall be the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee and one (1) of whom shall be the Chairman of the Education Committee;
(c) The Executive Director of the Mississippi Development Authority, or his designee;
(d) The State Superintendent of Public Education, or his designee;
(e) The Commissioner of Higher Education, or his designee;
(f) The Executive Director of the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges, or his designee; and
(g) A representative of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers appointed by the Governor.
(3) Appointments shall be made within thirty (30) days after passage of this resolution. Within fifteen (15) days thereafter, on a day to be designated jointly by the Speaker of the House and the Lieutenant Governor, the study committee shall meet and organize by selecting from its membership a chairman and vice chairman. The vice chairman shall serve as secretary and shall be responsible for keeping all records of the study committee. A majority of the members of the study committee shall constitute a quorum. In the selection of its officers and the adoption of rules, resolutions and reports, an affirmative vote of a majority of the study committee present and voting is required. The committee shall meet upon the call of the chairman, and all members shall be notified in writing of all meetings, and such notices must be mailed at least five (5) days before the date on which a meeting is to be held.
(4) Each legislative member of the committee shall be paid from the contingent expense fund of his respective house per diem in the amount authorized by Section 25-3-69, Mississippi Code of 1972, and a mileage allowance and an expense allowance in the amount authorized by Section 5-1-47, Mississippi Code of 1972. However, no per diem, mileage allowance or expense allowance may be paid for attending meetings of the committee while the Legislature is in session, and no per diem, mileage allowance or expense allowance may be paid without prior approval of the proper committee in the member's respective house. No study committee member may incur per diem, travel or other expenses unless previously authorized by vote, at a meeting of the study committee, which action must be recorded in the official minutes of the meeting.
(5) The study committee may employ consultants or staff and may utilize clerical and legal staff employed by any state agency, school district, political subdivision or municipality of the state, and any other staff assistance made available to the committee.
(6) Funding for the study committee may be provided from any funds that may be appropriated by the Legislature for the expenses of the study committee. The study committee may accept money from any source, public or private, to be expended in implementing its duties under this resolution.
(7) Upon presentation of its report to the Legislature before the 2006 Regular Session, the study committee shall be dissolved.