Gov. Phil Murphy announced his Computer Science for All State Plan, including $2 million in state grants, to help schools establish advanced, high-quality computer science programs.
“Expanding and improving computer science programs in our public schools will help provide our students with the critical thinking skills they need to succeed in today’s global economy,” said Governor Murphy. “Computers and technology are integral to our society and workforce, and students must be given the opportunity to learn and master these foundational skills.”
“Our mission is clear: We are committed to providing equitable access to a high-quality computer science education for all students,” said Dr. Lamont O. Repollet, Commissioner of Education. “Through our state plan, we are making a statement that we want New Jersey to be a leader in equipping students with high-level computer science and technology skills.”
“The Computer Science Teachers Association of New Jersey (CSTANJ) thanks Governor Murphy for his support of the Computer Science for All initiative and appreciated the opportunity to have been represented on the NJ Computer Science Advisory Board,” said Daryl Detrick, Warren Hills Regional High School Computer Science Teacher and CSTANJ Advocacy Chair. “We also want to thank the Advisory Board members and New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) for all their hard work developing the New Jersey Computer Science Action Plan. We believe that all students should have the opportunity to study computer science because it helps teach computational thinking skills that are valuable in nearly all career fields. This plan and funding are huge steps toward helping us reach those goals. We look forward to working with the Governor’s office and NJDOE to implement this plan and open doors of opportunity for our students.”
“Following up on last year’s funding and announcement of joining the Governor’s Partnership for K-12 Computer Science, Governor Murphy continues to advance his commitment to computer science education,” said Pat Yongpradit, Chief Academic Officer of Code.org. “Today’s release of a comprehensive state plan and strategic funding initiative goes to show that New Jersey is serious about every student having the opportunity to learn computer science.”
“The New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning (NJCTL) fully supports Governor Murphy’s commitment to bringing CS education to all students,” said Bob Goodman, NJCTL’s Executive Director. “The CS for All initiative encouraged NJCTL to develop a comprehensive AP CS A program, including curriculum materials as well as, online training, and coaching for teachers. We eagerly await the expansion of CS for All, bringing the benefits of CS education to more students and teachers, particularly those not traditionally represented in CS.”
According to the Computer Science for All State Plan, more than 500,000 computing jobs remain unfilled in the United States – with more than 15,000 in the Garden State alone. Although the jobs offer an average salary of $107,260 in New Jersey, only 1,642 computer science majors graduated from the state’s universities in 2017.
The state plan and grant funding are part of the Governor’s Computer Science for All initiative, designed to broaden rigorous computer science courses offered to students.
The Computer Science for All State Plan calls for the implementation of five key goals:
The plan was drafted with the guidance of a Computer Science Advisory Board that included educators in the computer science and STEM fields, leaders in higher education, school administrators, and other stakeholders.
In addition, to help implement the plan, Governor Murphy announced three “Expanding Access to Computer Science” grant opportunities for $2 million in computer science funding for Fiscal Year 2020. The grants include:
Professional Learning Computer Science Grants:
To create a network of computer-science hubs that can provide educators with high-quality computer science training, three institutions of higher education in each region of the state will receive up to $265,000 each to partner with school districts that have at least one Title I school. Each site will offer flexible programs including in-person, digital, or blended professional learning opportunities.
Developing Curricula to Support CTE Pathways:
To support information technology in schools offering career and technical education (CTE) programs, one institution of higher education will receive up to $205,000 to create two model curricula programs of study: one in programming and another in networking/cybersecurity to assist secondary school districts and postsecondary CTE programs in the implementation of the Information Technology Career Cluster.
High School Courses:
To provide opportunities for a larger and more diverse pool of students to participate in advanced computer science courses, 15 or more awards up to $66,500 each will be awarded to comprehensive high schools. The funds will help schools ensure that students and teachers are prepared for Advanced Placement computer science courses, programs that lead to an industry-valued credential in computer science, or classes that result in credit in computer science through an agreement with a college, university, or other postsecondary institution. This is an expansion of a grant that was created last year.
The three Expanding Access to Computer Science grants are expected to be awarded by the spring of 2020.
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