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U.S. announces computer science funding recipients

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The Department of Education has announced the winners of the Education Innovation and Research grant program. This is the Dept of Ed program that prioritized K-12 CS. According to the Dept of Ed, of $78M awarded for STEM programs, 85% of the STEM funding (over $66M) are for projects with a “specific focus” on K-12 CS.

Grant winners include CS-focused national organizations such as the Computer Science Teachers Association, National Math and Science Initiative, as well as Code.org. Many local organizations and universities received awards, including some of our regional partners, such as Marquette University in Wisconsin, Sacred Heart University in Connecticut and A+ College Ready in Alabama.

We are encouraged that this announcement reflects a commitment to specific funding for K-12 CS from the Dept of Ed. (Note: The National Science Foundation has funded K-12 CS education for several years.) We plan to research all the EIR awards to investigate what was actually funded when the Dept of Ed releases more details about the awards.

Code.org also won an award in the competitive process. Our $4 million (over five years) “Equity in AP Computer Science Principles” grant will focus on breaking down barriers that result in inequitable access and outcomes for students. We plan to produce evidence about effective interventions for reducing each of these barriers and increasing equitable outcomes for students. Specifically, the grant will support:

  • Targeted outreach to and recruitment programs for school administrators and school counselors to support enrollment of students in AP CS Principles; and
  • Virtual and in-person professional learning programs for AP CS Principles teachers.

We will collaborate with our Idaho, Texas, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Alaska partners on this work.

An achievement years in the making

In 2017, after years of effort by our community and partners, we shared news of a Presidential Memorandum directing the Dept of Ed to allocate funding to STEM with a “particular focus” on K-12 CS. In 2018, after the initial grants focused on STEM without much CS, we helped the Dept of Ed understand the funding challenges CS faces as a new field. As we shared in February, the Dept of Ed released new grant rules prioritizing CS. This week’s news shares the final results of the competitive grant process that prioritized CS.

This is exciting news not only for the award recipients, but for the entire CS community.

-Cameron Wilson, Chief Operating Officer, Code.org, and President, Code.org Advocacy Coalition

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Code.org® is dedicated to expanding access to computer science increasing participation by young women and students from other underrepresented groups.

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