Reynolds Appropriates Funding to Boost Local School Computer Science Programs

Gov. Reynolds announced a total of 23 Iowa school districts and schools in Iowa will be able to bolster their computer science teacher workforce, due to a state appropriation of $500,000. Among them are Mason City and Clear Lake Community Schools.

The funding is part of a broader effort to expand computer science education across the state. This effort aligns with the Future Ready Iowa initiative, which is about preparing more Iowans for rewarding, high-demand jobs and getting employers the skilled workers they need.

“This investment provides students with the tools they need to excel within a 21st-century digital economy,” said Gov. Kim Reynolds. “Teaching computer science and other STEM-related courses is an essential component of any child’s education. That’s why Iowa is preparing our young people for success in cutting-edge careers with programs like this.”

The Computer Science Professional Development Incentive Fund, along with voluntary statewide computer science standards, was established as part of legislation signed into law in 2017. SF 274 supports our effort to provide high-quality computer science instruction in every elementary, middle and high school. Schools will use the incentive fund to pay for professional learning or university coursework for teaching endorsements in computer science.

The incentive fund drew 31 applications representing 39 public school districts and non-public schools in urban, rural and suburban parts of the state. One application represented a team of elementary, middle, and high schools within Great Prairie Area Education Agency in southeast Iowa.

Award recipients will report on their progress by the end of the 2019-20 school year.

“This is a great opportunity for schools to develop teachers in a high-demand field,” said Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise. “Strong computer science instruction is critical in ensuring our students are future-ready when they graduate from high school.”