Computer Science, STEM Gain Traction in 2017 State of the State Addresses

Feb. 23, 2017

So far in 2017, STEM and computer science continue to capture governors’ attention as they look for ways to better align education with projected workforce demands. Here’s a quick look at governors’ computer science and STEM proposals in 2017 State of the State addresses:

  • Arizona: Gov. Ducey proposed a statewide computer science and coding initiative, coupled with an effort to connect rural schools to high-speed internet. His State of the State also proposes loan forgiveness for STEM teachers.
  • Idaho: Gov. Otter urges continued support for the STEM Action Center and its groundbreaking Computer Science Initiative. He also notes that some of his higher education budget priorities focus on workforce development and expanding programs at public four-year institutions and community colleges that support such in-demand career fields as computer science.
  • Indiana: Recently inaugurated Gov. Holcomb announced his intent to invest $1 million each year to lead a statewide effort to better coordinate K-12 STEM education throughout Indiana.
  • Iowa: Gov. Branstad declared that he and Lt. Gov. Reynolds are launching a comprehensive computer science initiative. They’re encouraging every high school to offer at least one high-quality computer science course, every middle school to provide exploratory computer science, and every elementary school to include an introduction to computer science. Program initiatives prioritized for the 2017 session also include:
    • Establish high-quality computer science standards.
    • Create a computer science professional development incentive fund to train teachers.
    • Convene an advisory group to recommend how to count computer science as a math credit toward high school graduation.
  • Michigan: Gov. Snyder expressed his desire for the state’s schools to improve in computer science, computer education and cyber security.
  • Rhode Island: Gov. Raimondo notes that by the end of the year, Rhode Island will be the first state to offer computer science in every public school in the state.

And New York’s Gov. Cuomo has unveiled a number of proposals at a series of regional State of the State addresses. A set of proposals specific to the 21st century workforce includes:

  • An additional $5.3 million to expand early college high school programs, such as the nationally recognized Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) program to include pathways to education and employment in the tech sector, with an emphasis on computer science education.
  • $2 million to create a new cohort of 115 K-12 teachers in the NYS Master Teacher Program, specifically in computer science. Current master teachers will help mentor the new cohort to ensure the most innovative teacher practices in the STEM fields are shared across all grades and regions.
  • Launching a public-private partnership to help train educators across the state to teach computer science. The state will offer professional development opportunities for teachers, and modernize the curriculum to advance computer science education across the state.

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