May 22, 2017

Rep. Lee: We Must Invest in Computer Science for All

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee reintroduced the Computer Science for All Act, which would ensure that all students receive the critical computer science education necessary for success in the 21st century economy. The bill would authorize $250 million in new grants to advance computer science education for pre-K to 12th graders, with a focus on girls and students of color.

“When it comes to being prepared for the 21st century economy, our young people, especially girls and young people of color, need Congress to invest in their futures,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee, a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Education. “Seventy percent of the 1.4 million new tech jobs that will be created by 2020 will go unfilled. We must invest in our young people NOW, before it’s too late. I am proud to lead my colleagues in introducing this important legislation to help ensure that all students learn the computer science skills necessary for the tech jobs of today and tomorrow.”

American innovation is already falling behind.  Since 1992, the U.S. has fallen from second in overall research and development to tenth, amongst OECD countries. Today, less than a quarter of all high schools offer Advanced Placement computer science courses. It is clear that schools need more resources to ensure American students don’t fall behind their global counterparts. Further, more investment is needed to encourage girls and students of color to pursue STEAM and computer science careers.

This legislation has the support of leading STEM organizations.

“Technology is embedded into every part of our economy and the number one source of new U.S. wage growth, but at the same time we have over half-a-million computer jobs unfilled, underscoring the importance for students to have tech skills in order to pursue these good paying jobs,” ITI President and CEO Dean Garfield said. ITI is the global voice of the tech sector representing the world’s leading technology companies. “If we don’t leverage diversity of thought, experience, or background, then we’re only solving for part of the puzzle when it comes to creating new technologies. We applaud Congresswoman Lee and her commitment as a partner in the effort to ensure all students have an opportunity to learn STEM skills by introducing this legislation.”