Arkansas schools will have a new resource for funding computer science programs as part of Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s push to increase the number and quality of computer/coding programs throughout the state.
Hutchinson announced the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) will be launching the Computer Science Innovation Grant Program. Through this program, schools will be reimbursed for the cost of “curriculum, software licenses, professional development and student incentives, according to a press release from Hutchinson’s office.
However, schools will be competing for the grants, which are available in the amounts of $25,000, $20,000 or $7,500. According to the press release, coding clubs, robotics teams and computer science programs in Arkansas public schools will be competing for up to $250,000 in reimbursements.
Hutchinson also announced that computer science teachers will be given a membership to a nationally recognized educational resource and that their teacher license renewal will be waived. Over 500 educators will be given a membership to the Computer Science Teacher Association (CSTA). Through this association, teachers can obtain discounted online courses, free teaching aids and support for teaching certifications.
Fully certified computer science teachers will have their Arkansas teacher license renewal waived, as part of Hutchinson’s initiative.
Hutchinson made the announcements at Genoa Central Elementary School in Texarkana on Tuesday, Sept. 4, as part of the kickoff for his Fall 2018 Computer Science Tour.
The Fall 2018 Computer Science Tour will continue on Monday, Sept. 10, at Pea Ridge Middle School in Pea Ridge. Hutchinson’s next stop will be at Drew Central High School in Monticello, on Tuesday, Sept. 11.
According to the Governor’s press release, Arkansas Department of Education officials will release a memo with further details on the Computer Science Innovation Grant Program application and the benefits of the program.