LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Asa Hutchinson kicked off Computer Science Education Week by announcing the allocation of $500,000 for the K-8 Computer Science Lead Teacher Stipend and Training Program. Hutchinson made the announcement via video at the Code.org kickoff event for Computer Science Education Week in San Mateo, California.
In addition to a stipend (up to $2,000), lead elementary and middle school computer science educators who qualify will receive high-quality training on higher level computer science concepts and will learn how to assist other teachers within their schools with embedding the Arkansas K-8 Computer Science Standards across all content areas.
“From my first day in office, I have emphasized the importance of providing the young people of Arkansas the opportunity to learn computer science,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “Within the first two months, the legislature had passed a law that requires all high schools to offer a course in computer coding. Since then, we have added stipends for teachers who learn to teach coding, we have provided access to high-speed broadband internet to every school district in the state, and we have other initiatives in the works. We are producing the highly-skilled workers that Arkansas needs to support a variety of industries. This new K-8 stipend reinforces our commitment to provide the best education, starting with the early years.”
“The Arkansas Department of Education Office of Computer Science and Arkansas statewide computer science specialists are proud to make this stipend and training program a reality for Arkansas educators,” said Anthony Owen, the state director of computer science education. “It has been our belief that long-term systemic growth in the number and diversity of students taking high school computer science courses will only take place when computer science education is a normal part of the educational experience for all K-8 students.”
“Gov. Hutchinson has been a leader in recognizing and catalyzing the teacher-led movement to bring computer science into our schools,” said Hadi Partovi, CEO of Code.org. “He’s helped grow this movement in the state of Arkansas and is an example for other governors in the U.S. on how to make this subject part of our school day.”
To be eligible for the full $2,000 stipend, computer science lead teachers must be licensed educators within an Arkansas public elementary or middle school; attend a five-day professional development session provided at no cost by the Arkansas Department of Education Office of Computer Science; obtain the 528 Computer Science Endorsement on their Arkansas educator’s license; and provide a requisite number of both one-on-one support and school-wide professional development hours.
Gov. Hutchinson’s announcement video may be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4X4cia3xtXE.
More information is available in the following Commissioner’s Memo: http://adecm.arkansas.gov/ViewApprovedMemo.aspx?Id=3443.
Arkansas School Recognition
In addition to the governor’s announcement, Code.org and the Computer Science Teachers Association recognized the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts in Hot Springs as an inaugural Champion for Computer Science. There were approximately 1,000 nominees from around the country, with ASMSA being selected as one of the winners for its commitment to computer science education.
To learn more about the announcement, please visit http://bit.ly/2iIjTiG.
Computer Science Education Week
December 4-10, 2017, is Computer Science Education Week. Arkansas will release a new computer science-related announcement each day. For a full listing of announcements as they are made, please visit the newly-redesigned ADE Computer Science webpages at http://www.arkansased.gov/divisions/special-projects/arkansas-computer-science-initiative.