WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen released the following statement announcing a slate of new endorsements for her bipartisan, bicameral Teacher Education for Computer Science Act (Teach CS Act), legislation that would support teacher training in computer science at institutes of higher education and enable teachers to educate K-12 students in computer science. Senator Rosen and Senators Roger Wicker, Maggie Hassan, and Mitt Romney introduced this bill during Computer Science Education Week, which is observed each year during the week of December 9th to raise awareness about and encourage students to explore computer science.
“As a former computer programmer, I understand firsthand the value of computer science and how education in this field can open doors for students who are looking to pursue a career in STEM,” said Senator Rosen. “I’m glad to see so many organizations coming forth to support this legislation which will go a long way toward helping students achieve in STEM.”
“We are grateful to Senator Rosen for looking strategically at existing programs and how they might produce better outcomes for STEM education overall and we believe this legislation is a big step in the right direction,” said Marc Johnson, President of the University of Nevada, Reno and Marta Meana, President of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
“While thousands of courageous teachers have taken on the challenge of teaching computer science over the past few years, our current preparation systems cannot meet the coming demand for CS educators,” said Jake Baskin, Executive Director of the Computer Science Teachers Association. “This bill will help jumpstart CS programs for pre-service teachers across the country.”
“Right now, there are almost 500,000 open computing jobs nationwide. Still, as of 2019, only 45% of high schools teach computer science across 39 states,” said Cameron Wilson, Chief Operating Officer and President of Code.org Advocacy Coalition. “While Code.org and other organizations are focused largely on preparing teachers of other subjects to teach computer science, we know that the country’s institutions of higher education must start and grow preparation programs for computer science teachers. The Teach Computer Science Act is an important step in this work; Code.org endorses it, and we are hopeful the bill will be considered as part of the ongoing Higher Education Act.”
BACKGROUND: Last month, Senator Rosen introduced the bipartisan Teach CS Act (S.3040) with Senator Roger F. Wicker (R-MS) and joined by Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Mitt Romney (R-UT). The Teach CS Act would amend the Higher Education Act (HEA) to include computer science education eligibility for multiple teacher preparation grants and graduate fellowships and authorize a new program for competitive grants for eligible institutions of higher education to establish centers of excellence in teacher education programs for computer science.
The full list of organizations and institutions endorsing the Teach CS Act include: Code.org, Microsoft, CSforAll, Girls Who Code, National Education Association (NEA), Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), STEM Ed Coalition, National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT), Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), Nevada Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), SEDTA, 100Kin10, Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE), University of Nevada Reno (UNR), University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), and the Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning (MACUL).