WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, alongside Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS), Mitt Romney (R-UT), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH), announced their re-introduction of the Teacher Education for Computer Science Act (Teach CS) Act. This bipartisan legislation would support teacher training and schools in educating students in the area of computer science. Representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA) plans to introduce companion bipartisan legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“As a former computer programmer, I understand firsthand the value of a STEM education,” said Senator Rosen. “That’s why I’ve made it a priority in Congress to increase access to STEM education to students. But we can’t adequately educate our students without first properly training our educators. I’m re-introducing this bipartisan legislation to provide educators with the professional development they need to teach our students computer science knowledge and skills. I will continue working in Congress to provide Nevada’s educators and students with the resources they need to succeed.”
“Addressing America’s shortage of computer science graduates starts with investing in teachers,” said Senator Wicker. “This legislation would make targeted changes to place more qualified computer science instructors in our schools, which would better equip our students to pursue careers in STEM.”
“We need to make sure our kids have the tools they need to succeed in the 21st century global economy,” said Senator Romney. “Our legislation will strengthen computer science curriculums in Utah and around the country and create more opportunities for students to gain important skills which our changing workforce demands.”
“In order to ensure that Granite State students are prepared to compete in the 21st century economy, we must strengthen and expand computer science education,” said Senator Hassan. “This bipartisan bill would do just that by helping provide more educators with the skills to teach students computer science. I am glad to join this effort, and I will continue to work with my colleagues across the aisle on legislation to strengthen opportunities for Granite Staters to secure good-paying jobs.”
“Education is the doorway to economic opportunity and we need to ensure our teachers and our education system sets our kids up for success,” said Congressman Kilmer. “Empowering teachers with the skills they need to teach computer science will enable them to prepare our students for the workforce of the future. These efforts to strengthen computer science programs will provide more job opportunities for our kids, more qualified employees for local employers, and more economic resiliency for our communities.”
“Code.org is dedicated to expanding access to computer science in K-12 schools and increasing participation by young women and students from other underrepresented groups,” said Hadi Partovi, Founder and CEO of Code.org. “Our vision is that every student has access to a high-quality computer science course over the course of their K-12 schooling. This goal is dependent on a robust and diverse computer science teaching workforce. While Code.org and others work to train existing teachers on how to teach computer science, we know that the proliferation of high-quality preparation programs is crucial to our goal. The Teacher Education for Computer Science Act will encourage colleges of education to start and grow programs that will prepare computer science teachers. We are grateful to Senator Rosen, an ally in growing computer science education, are excited about the bill’s introduction and look forward to working to get it enacted.”
“The key to growing the computer science and technology workforce is providing elementary, middle and high school students with a high-quality and rigorous computer science education,” said Brenda Darden Wilkerson, President and CEO of AnitaB.org. “That means growing the computer science teacher workforce. Senator Rosen’s Teach CS Act will encourage the development of computer science teacher preparation programs—programs that will be crucial to expanding access to computer science education nationwide. We look forward to working with Senator Rosen and others on Capitol Hill to enact this important legislation.”
“Schools need teachers who are prepared for the classrooms of today, and those classrooms include computer science. The Teach CS Act helps ensure that colleges of education have resources available to update teacher preparation.” – Leigh Ann DeLyser, Executive Director, CSforALL
BACKGROUND: Specifically, the bipartisan, bicameral 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.
Senators Rosen, Wicker, Romney, and Hassan first introduced the bipartisan Teach CS Act in December 2019.
The bipartisan Teach CS Act is endorsed by 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), Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE), University of Nevada Reno (UNR), and the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV).