Computer science for all: President Obama announces $4B initiative
WASHINGTON — President Obama says every student in America should learn how to code and Washington state could help lead in implementing the president’s initiative.
In a Facebook post on Saturday, Mr. Obama announced a new program, “Computer Science for All,” which will focus on teaching this to students from elementary school through high school.
The program is geared toward helping future generations succeed in the digital economy and increasing the number of girls and minorities in the field.
“[W]e have to make sure all our kids are equipped for the jobs of the future, which means not just being able to work with computers but developing the analytical and coding skills to power our innovation economy,” Obama said.
In Seattle, Washington STEM is celebrating today’s news.
“Washington state is poised to lead the country on computer science education. Students may apply computer science credits to graduation and the Legislature recently made its largest investment to date in K-12 computer science education,” said Patrick D’Amelio, CEO of Washington STEM.
To fund the program, Obama plans to ask Congress for $4 billion, which would help states increase their computer science budgets, and $100 million, which would go directly to school districts.
An additional $135 million would come from the National Science Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service.
The money will be used to train teachers and pay for key instructional materials and resources.
Obama cited the examples of Delaware, Hawaii, Washington, Arkansas, and over 30 school districts that have already incorporated computer science in their curriculum.
Another important step in Obama’s plan is to work with the corporate sector to provide more computer science opportunities. He said over 50 organizations had already committed to the program and he urged others to come forward.
Obama has continually emphasized the need for more computer science education.
During his State of the Union address earlier this month, Obama noted the passage of an education bill that gives computer science teachers access to federal funding and enhances Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics opportunities.
Obama also started the White House Science Fair and, in 2014, he became the first president to write a line of code.