September 26, 2017 | News, Press Releases

Internet Association Members & Other Businesses, Individuals Commit More Than $300 Million To K-12 Computer Science Education Programs

BECKERMAN: “It’s essential that the public and private sectors work together to ensure all American students have the opportunity to learn computer science and take part in the fastest growing sector of our economy.”

Detroit, Michigan – Today, Internet Association announced a private sector commitment of more than $300 million dedicated to K-12 computer science programs. The pledge represents a private sector contribution which complements the Trump Administration’s commitment to computer science education made in yesterday’s presidential memorandum that directed the Department of Education to make STEM and computer science a priority within competitive grant programs. Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump is joining Internet Association and donor companies at an event today in Detroit to discuss the importance of computer science education.

The private sector contribution will be funded by Internet Association member companies and other businesses and individuals over five years. Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Salesforce each commit $50 million, Lockheed Martin commits $25 million, Accenture commits more than $10 million, General Motors commits $10 million, Pluralsight commits $10 million, and private individuals and foundations commit $3 million to nonprofits focused on computer science education. Detroit-based Quicken Loans commits the financial resources required to ensure more than 15,000 Detroit Public Schools students receive the computer science training they deserve. Intuit and Internet Association are also providing a significant contribution to the effort.

“Today’s renewed commitment to high-quality computer science education made by the Trump Administration, the internet industry, and other businesses will help ensure all students develop the skills they need to succeed in the digital economy. It’s essential that the public and private sectors work together to ensure all American students have the opportunity to learn computer science and take part in the fastest growing sector of our economy,” said Michael Beckerman, Internet Association President & CEO.

“The Trump Administration is committed to aligning the skills being taught to our students with the jobs being created in the economy of the future. Given the growing role of technology across all sectors of American industry, it is vital that our students become fluent in coding and computer science and the decisive actions of the Administration and the private sector this week represent a giant leap forward in this direction,” said Ivanka Trump, Advisor to the President.

The announcement will be formally made during an event today in Detroit, featuring Ivanka Trump; Lockheed Martin Chairman, President & CEO Marillyn Hewson; Quicken Loans Chairman Dan Gilbert; Salesforce.org CEO Rob Acker; Code.org CEO Hadi Partovi; and Internet Association President & CEO Michael Beckerman. Other companies and organizations represented will be Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, After-School All-Stars, and Michigan Math & Science Centers Network.

Spread over the next five years, this investment is designed to expand the computer science education pipeline and close the skills gap for computing jobs in today’s economy. According to Code.org, there are more than 500,000 open computing jobs in sectors as diverse as agriculture and banking today, but only 50,000 computer science graduates each year. Less than half of schools in the U.S. offer computer science courses, yet 90 percent of parents want them in their schools.

“Whether a student wishes to become a lawyer, a nurse, a scientist, or a coder, a background in computer science will provide a critical foundation for the future,” said Code.org CEO Hadi Partovi. Code.org is the leading nonprofit in computer science, with 20 percent of America’s students enrolled on its platform. “Today’s announcement wouldn’t be possible without the passionate work of hundreds of thousands of teachers in the past four years. Their local support in classrooms has powered an international movement to modernize education,” added Partovi.

“The White House, the business community, and educators across the country agree that computer science must be made a priority for American workers to be prepared for the jobs of the 21st century. We’ve all seen the writing on the wall and now is the time to act in the interest of the continued economic growth of our nation,” added Beckerman.

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