Governor Also Announces that Math for America will Launch its First Program in New Jersey
BELLEVILLE – As part of Governor Phil Murphy’s “Computer Science for All” initiative to advance STEM education, the Governor and the New Jersey Department of Education today announced that the State will award $2 million in Advanced Computer Science Grants to 29 schools across New Jersey. The funding expansion marks the first time that New Jersey has specifically funded an expansion of computer science education and will give 900 additional high school students access to computer science coursework.
“One way to supercharge our economy is by advancing cutting-edge technology coursework in our schools,” said Governor Murphy, who announced the grant awards today during a visit to Belleville High School. “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. Today’s announcement puts the State closer to providing high-quality computer science education to all New Jersey students.”
“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 O. Repollet. “We want to give New Jersey students every possible edge so they can be in the best position for success after high school.”
Schools that applied for and received the grants will use the funding in the 2019-2020 school year to implement courses that allow students to earn college credit while still in high school; encourage students to take the highest level of Advanced Placement courses; offer summer bridge programs to prepare students for the rigor of advanced computer science coursework; or provide classes that can lead to a credential recognized in the tech industry. Professional development for teachers is also a key component of the grant initiative. Preference was given to schools that receive federal Title I funds.
“We owe it to the youth of New Jersey to provide them with the tools they need to take advantage of all this field has to offer,” said Governor Murphy. “This effort is one way to convey that, here in New Jersey, we are serious about success.”
* Final figure is to be determined. District will receive funding for a minimum of 20 students, although the final amount may be greater.
The Advanced Computer Science Grants are a key element of the Computer Science for All initiative that Governor Murphy announced in October.
Governor Murphy was also joined by Math for America (MfA), an organization dedicated to improving math and science instruction in the classroom. MfA will be launching their first New Jersey program for the 2019-2020 school year. That program will create one-year fellowships for public school elementary teachers across New Jersey to help them learn and institute innovative teaching practices to help students develop the flexible problem-solving skills requires 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.
“We are delighted to partner with leading universities to support this innovative program that supports STEM education in New Jersey,” said Dr. John Ewing, President of Math for America. “We believe this new approach will ultimately serve as a model for other states.”
“Montclair State is honored to lead a partnership of institutions with renowned teacher preparation and continuing education programs, including Princeton University and Rowan University,” said Dr. Susan Cole, President of Montclair State University. “This Fellowship will power statewide innovation in STEM education from the ground up.”
In addition to today’s grant announcement, the Department of Education is reallocating $13.6 million in federal funds to high-needs districts to support initiatives including STEM; it is working on a long-range strategic plan for computer science in schools throughout the state; it has promoted STEM and computer science through initiatives such as P-TECH grants to help selected high schools work with community colleges and businesses to create pathways to college to career; and New Jersey joined the Governor’s Partnership for K-12 Computer Science, a bipartisan coalition of governors committed to expanding access and funding for Computer Science education.