Tony Cárdenas Intros Coding Bill for High School Students
Congressmen Tony Cárdenas (D-CA)and Pete Olson (R-TX) teamed up to introduce bipartisan legislation that they say will help high schools create or expand coding education programs through a new grant program within the National Activities Fund at the Department of Education. The grants would be available to local educational agencies whose programs allow high school students to fulfill a graduation requirement by taking a coding class in place of a mathematics, science, or foreign language class. The lawmakers say the High School CODES Act will help establish a crucial pipeline between students and jobs, and assist in strengthening America’s national security. STEM-related jobs are growing faster than the rest of the economy. While STEM workers do tend to be highly educated, about one-third do not have a bachelor's or higher degree, according to Pew Research. There are currently more than 500,000 open computing jobs nationwide but less than 50,000 computer science students graduating into the workforce last year. By 2020, there will be an estimated 1.4 million computer programming jobs, with only 400,000 American computer science students to fill those jobs. Nine out of 10 schools in the country do not even offer computer programming classes. Computer programming jobs are growing at nearly twice the national average rate. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage in 2017 for computer programmers was $82,240, while the median annual wage for all workers was $37,690. “We must invest in opportunities for young people so they can work in the growing technology industry. When we invest in our young people, America will continue to lead the global economy,” Cárdenas said. “The tech industry is creating new jobs daily, and as legislators, we need to make sure our schools get the funding they deserve to educate the future workforce of America.” More here.