Now that we have a new governor coming into office, what are we or should we be doing to keeping FiM and funding strong?
Be really nice to Gretchen…
Schmooze… invite her to as many events as possible anywhere in the state!! Show her just how vitally important this program is to the well being of the State of Michigan!!
Invite her to anything FRC related. Local kickoffs, scrimmages/week 0 events, and every district event in the state. Obviously she won’t be able to attend all, but the influx of invites alone will shed a little light on the program. I’d like to see FiM get in contact with her as well to discuss the future of FIRST in Michigan, regarding funding and state support.
As a candidate, our Governor-elect listed several key issues on her website.
Two of them are directly related to the vision and mission of FIRST.
I doubt we will see any issues with reduced funding for FiM from Governor Whitmer’s office. If anything I could see it increase. She campaigned hard on increasing education in skills trades and proving more options for students to pursue STEM related careers.
There has been a great system in place to work with the state government to make the funding FiM has received for years now. I am not remotely worried that the people heading this up won’t be able to continue the current level of support, and even increase it.
That said, getting any state representatives to visit and participate in FIRST events across the state is always a great thing to do and we should all do more to make it happen.
I definitely agree that we will continue to see support for FIRST, but the funding that goes towards STEM related activities is not strictly for FIRST. The money that is allocated for those activities is then split, one of the branches going into FIRST. Thisdocument shows a little bit on how the funding is split, and you can see that FIRST is listed as line 99h. While I expect the overall STEM budget to increase, it will be important to continuously advocate for more of that money specifically going to the FIRST subset.