Congressman Tony Cardenas

Representing the 29th District of California
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CÁRDENAS INTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO ENCOURAGE COMPUTER EDUCATION

Aug 6, 2013
Press Release
U.S. Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-San Fernando Valley) recently introduced legislation that would help prepare children in the Valley, and throughout the United States, for a future working with computers and networks.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

 

CÁRDENAS INTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO ENCOURAGE COMPUTER EDUCATION

(Washington, DC) -- U.S. Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-San Fernando Valley) recently introduced legislation that would help prepare children in the Valley, and throughout the United States, for a future working with computers and networks.

Cárdenas’ bill, the Computer Science in STEM Act, will prepare children for the computing jobs of today and tomorrow by adding Computer Science as one of the core “Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics” (STEM) classes.

“We have a duty to educate our children, so that each of them has the opportunity to find a well-paying job that will allow them create prosperity, raise a family and contribute to our economy,” said Cárdenas. “The tech industry is quickly expanding and adding middle class jobs to the U.S. economy.   We need to ensure that we have a trained workforce to fill these jobs so we can keep them here at home. I wrote this legislation is to make sure this happens so we can rebuild the middle class.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that from 2008 to 2018 more than 1,500,000 high-wage computing jobs will be created in the United States economy, making computing one of the fastest growing occupational fields.

According to the National Science Foundation, 2 percent of STEM students are computer science majors, while 60 percent of STEM jobs are computing jobs. For every American student receiving an engineering degree, about eight students receive engineering degrees in China and about five students earn equivalent degrees in India.

Along with including computer science in STEM definitions, the legislation creates grants to develop comprehensive plans at the state level to strengthen computer science education in grades K through 12 by ensuring quality and grade-appropriate computer science education giving teachers the appropriate skills and access to resources to teach computer science; and including universities and colleges in the process of creating this plan.

The bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Jared Polis (D-Boulder).

"High quality computer science and computing education exposes students to careers in exciting fields and prepares them to fill the jobs of the future,” Rep. Polis said. “However, current policies do not support computer science as a critical part of our education system. The Computer Science in STEM Act would support computer science programs across our K-12 and higher education systems, increasing access to the skills needed to compete in a global economy.”

The legislation is also supported by “Computing in the Core,” a conglomerate of advocates for the inclusion of computer science in K-12 education. In a letter to Cárdenas, they noted, “Your legislation would clarify that existing and currently funded federal programs could support the teaching and learning of computer science and encourages local and state education leaders to put computer science curriculum and teachers in schools.”

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