The need for computer and technical skills in the workforce is more prevalent than ever before, and now the leader of the nation is looking to provide schools with the necessary materials to help students build these vital skills.
The New York Times recently reported that President Obama will call for spending $4 billion to help states pay for computer science education in schools when he presents his 2017 budget to Congress.
This initiative is called Computer Science for All and aims to fund teacher training and instructional materials to increase computer science instruction in K-12 schools, especially for girls and minorities. President Obama hopes that the funding will eventually change the job market, as the initiative will provide students with instruction and materials that will help them build on 21st century skills needed in the workforce.
According to the article, White House officials say the need for funding is critical, as there are not enough computer science classes being offered to the nation’s students.
Only a quarter of the elementary, middle and high schools in the United States offer computer science classes, with 22 states not allowing such classes to count toward a diploma, officials said. Only 4,310 of 37,000 high schools in the country offer Advanced Placement computer science classes, they said, putting American children at a disadvantage.
Obama’s initiative can have a significant impact on schools if it is approved. It is common knowledge that public schools simply do not have enough funding to support the technology initiatives they wish to implement. However, with the President’s acknowledgement of the importance of computer science education and the need for technical skills in the workforce, this could be a turning point for schools that haven’t been able to fund tech initiatives.
Schools may also start seeing more support from private technology companies, as Obama has urged these companies to do all that they can to support computer science education.
Companies such as Microsoft have been investing in efforts to encourage computer science and technology education in K-12 schools. The article reports that Microsoft is increasing its efforts with beginning a 50-state campaign.
The need for technical skills in the workforce will not be going away, and one can only hope the funding trend continues as more schools look to implement the necessary technologies and programs needed to teach vital 21st century skills.
To learn more about funding technology initiatives, check out this guide: Guide to Over 20 Technology Grants for Schools.
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