Today, President Donald Trump signed a memorandum directing Education Secretary Betsy Devos to improve K-12 computer science education.
The memo asks the Department of Education to devote at least $200 million per year in grants toward “high-quality STEM education with a particular focus on computer science,” according to a press briefing Monday. Trump is also asking the department to explore administrative actions that will increase the focus on computer science in existing K-12 and higher education programs.
Code.org, a Seattle non-profit that advocates for K-12 computer science education, is calling the announcement a victory.
“This federal commitment along with the continuing generous support of private industry, state and local governments will accelerate the adoption of computer science as core curriculum in American K-12 schools,” Code.org CEO Hadi Partovi said in a statement. “More teachers will be trained and more students will have access to learning and achieving success in computer science.”
Last year, Code.org received $23 million in donations from Microsoft, Google, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, and others to train 25,000 public school teachers in programming each year and pressure Congress to make computer science education a priority.