NEWARK, NJ - Newark Public Schools will receive a $100,000 state grant to expand computer science education to high school students.
The state will award $2 million in Advanced Computer Science Grants as part of Gov. Phil Murphy’s Computer Science for All initiative. Twenty-nine schools across New Jersey will receive the grant, giving 900 more high school students access to computer science coursework.
“By giving students early access to the skills they will need to succeed in the 21st century workforce, we are helping them prepare for high-demand, high-paying career opportunities,” Murphy said in a statement. “Today’s announcement puts the State closer to providing high-quality computer science education to all New Jersey students.”
The Newark Public School will structure the advanced computer science programs for 60 students in the district, a state Department of Education spokesman explained.
“When we talk about a shortage of qualified applicants for jobs in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, we know that many of those vacancies are specifically in the computer science arena,” said Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet in a statement. “We want to give New Jersey students every possible edge so they can be in the best position for success after high school.”
The grants will be used to implement courses that allow students to earn college credit while still in high school or encourage students to take the highest level of advanced placement courses. The funding may also be used to offer summer bridge programs to prepare students for advanced computer coursework or provide classes that can lead to a credential in the technology industry.
Professional development for teachers is also a key component of the grant. Preference was given to schools that receive federal Title I funds.
The Department of Education is also reallocating $13.6 million in federal funds to high-needs districts to support initiatives that include Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
Math for America, an organization dedicated to improving math and science instruction, also today announced the launch of a one-year fellowship for public school elementary teachers in New Jersey. The fellowship will help teachers implement practices that help students develop problem-solving skills required for STEM.
The fellows will be hosted across the state at Montclair State University, Princeton University and Rowan University. The fellowship will be funded with support from the Overdeck Family Foundation, PSEG Foundation, Celgene Corporation, Becton, Dickinson and Company, and the Maher Charitable Foundation.