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North Iowa schools to share in $1 million computer science fund

Money going to Clear Lake, Osage, Riceville, and Garner-Hayfield-Ventura.

Posted: Aug 21, 2018 1:15 PM

DES MOINES, Iowa – Clear Lake, Osage, Riceville, and Garner-Hayfield-Ventura schools will share in a new $1 million fund to build their computer science teacher workforce.

Governor Kim Reynolds announced Tuesday that 49 school districts and schools will receive money as part of a broader effort to expand computer science education in schools across Iowa.

“This funding for teachers underscores Iowa’s commitment to giving all students access to the computer science skills and training necessary to fill the jobs of the future,” says Governor Reynolds said. “In a technology-driven economy, it’s essential that students learn the basics of computer science, starting in elementary school, so they have the opportunity to explore these career paths and the foundation to take more advanced courses. They deserve to be prepared for great Iowa computer science jobs, if that is what they want to do.”

Schools will use the incentive fund to pay for professional learning or university coursework for teaching endorsements in computer science. They will then report on their progress by the end of the 2018-19 school year.

“This is a great opportunity for schools and districts that are just getting started in computer science, as well as those that have a solid foundation from which to build,” says Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise. “There are many talented, dedicated educators throughout Iowa, and this is about building their capacity to deliver high-quality computer science instruction at every grade level.”

Iowa lawmakers provided $500,000 for the incentive fund and the rest comes from a 2007 settlement of an Iowa class-action anti-trust lawsuit filed against Microsoft Corp. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Iowans who had bought the company’s programs at allegedly inflated prices, and the settlement agreement included setting aside a portion of unclaimed money for technology in Iowa schools.

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