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The state of Georgia is taking steps to improve a major shortfall in the state’s ability to meet the high demand of computer science professionals.
According to the state department of education, Georgia only has 250 credentialed computer science teachers and 1,000 middle and high schools. To combat this disparity, the state is awarding grants to 34 school districts to help them build teacher capacity around computer science education.
Computer science has become a high-demand career across multiple industries, and includes skills all students need to learn. Thus far, the largest challenge for school districts in building this new discipline is building teaching capacity.
This grant is designed to help mitigate that gap; it provides funding for teachers to participate in professional learning opportunities, including credential programs.
“Computer science learning is essential for all students – not just those who will ultimately pursue STEM careers,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “As school districts make the shift to offering computer science as a K-12 discipline, one of the most immediate needs is teacher capacity. These grant funds allow districts to invest in the talented teachers already in their building and provide the training needed to develop a CS skillset.”
“Providing valuable training opportunities for new computer science teachers is a very important priority for our state and my office. In order to reach our goal of being the technology capital of the East Coast, we will need a strong coding workforce. Thanks to the great work of Superintendent Woods and his team, this work can take shape and continue to grow,” said Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan.
Each of the 34 districts is receiving up to $25,000, for an award total of $744,381. Priority was given to districts serving highly impoverished and/or rural communities.
The grant is part of CS4GA – an initiative focused on making Georgia a national leader in the computer science movement by developing and delivering high-quality courses, resources and professional learning; increasing the number of CS endorsements held by educators; and expanding the integration of CS throughout the K-12 curriculum.