The Georgia Department of Education has awarded grants to 34 school districts to help them build teacher capacity around computer science education.
The Walker County School System is among the recipients.
Computer science has become a high-demand career across multiple industries, and includes skills all students need to learn. Thus far, the largest challenge for school districts in building this new discipline is building teaching capacity – there are currently 250 credentialed computer science teachers – and 1,000 middle and high schools – in Georgia.
This grant is designed to help mitigate that gap; it provides funding for teachers to participate in professional learning opportunities, including credential programs. Walker County will receive $25,000.
The initiative was pushed by Senators P.K. Martin and Jack Hill. The hope is to provide valuable training opportunities for new computer science teachers.
“Computer science learning is essential for all students – not just those who will ultimately pursue STEM careers,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “As school districts make the shift to offering computer science as a K-12 discipline, one of the most immediate needs is teacher capacity. These grant funds allow districts to invest in the talented teachers already in their building and provide the training needed to develop a CS skill set.”
Each of the 34 districts is receiving up to $25,000, for a total of $744,381 awarded. Priority was given to districts serving highly impoverished and/or rural communities.
The grant is part of CS4GA – an initiative focused on making Georgia a national leader in the computer science movement by developing and delivering high-quality courses, resources and professional learning; increasing the number of CS endorsements held by educators; and expanding the integration of CS throughout the K-12 curriculum.