A long list of governors and technology leaders urged the federal government to dedicate $250 million to computer-science education.
A long list of business leaders, state governors and education executives sent a letter to U.S. Congress members Tuesday, urging them to provide enough federal funding to increase K-12 access to computer-science education.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi were among the supporters, who also included Apple and Facebook executives, as well as leaders from traditional businesses.
“We ask you to provide funding for every student in every school to have an opportunity to learn computer science,” the letter reads. The coalition that organized the letter urges the federal government to provide $250 million in funding for such education.
The letter was organized by Seattle nonprofit Code.org, which trains teachers to teach students computer science, along with nonprofit The Computer Science Education Coalition.
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Tech companies and education leaders have been pushing for broader computer-science training for more than a year, and support for the movement continues to grow. Many open jobs that are being created require computer-science training, supporters say, and those jobs are lucrative.
Computer-science education will be essential in the future for everyone, regardless of whether they work as software developers, Code.org co-founder Hadi Partovi has said.
Partovi said the letter was quick to garner support from business leaders who are not in tech industries, because technology is affecting every company. He pointed out that it’s a bipartisan issue — governors supporting the letter are both Republicans and Democrats.
Supporters of the letter also committed to invest $48 million into computer-science education efforts, including a $23 million contribution to Code.org.
“We plan to train about 25,000 teachers with the money,” Partovi said.
The Seattle nonprofit has a history of getting donations from high-profile executives and technology companies that support its efforts. The latest contributions come from Jeff Bezos, Microsoft, Mark Zuckerberg, AT&T and others.