Sending Office: Lee, Barbara
Sent By:
Liz.Lee@mail.house.gov

 

Support Computer Science Education
in FY19 Appropriations

There are 3 Programmatic Requests. You may sign your boss on here.

DEADLINE: March 14, 2018 COB

Dear Colleague:

We urge you to join us in supporting computer science education by requesting $250 million for new development grants to further computer science education; and robust funding for the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Research and Related Activities (R&RA)
and Education and Human Resources Directorate (EHR) in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, and the FY2019 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.

Providing all students from preschool through high school access to computer science instruction is a critical step to preparing them for jobs in the 21st century global economy. According to the Level Playing Field Institute, it is estimated
that there will be 1.4 million new tech jobs by 2020, but at the rate American universities are producing qualified graduates for these roles, 70 percent of those jobs will go unfulfilled. The Department of Education building a program with a particular focus
of supporting girls and students of color in computer science would increase enrollment and meet this need.

In 2017, only 27 percent of the nearly 100,000 students who took an Advanced Placement computer science exam were girls. Those numbers are even starker for students of color as 5 percent of test takers were African American and 15 percent were Latino. While
these numbers remain low, they doubled from 2016 because of the introduction of a new course in computer science principles – suggesting that increasing opportunities for girls and students of color works.

Accordingly, join us in supporting funding for the following programs:

Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies
$250 million for the Department of Education’s Computer Science for All Development Grants
Dedicating $250 million for development grants in FY2019 to further computer science will build on current efforts to prepare students for careers in the 21st century. At current rates, students are woefully unprepared for the millions of computer science jobs
that will be created in the next 10 years. Robust investment to provide access to rigorous computer science courses and quality curriculums is critical.

Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations
Full funding for the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Research and Related Activities (R&RA) and Education and Human Resources Directorate (EHR)
Research and Related Activities (R&RA) and Education and Human Resources (EHR) accounts will help ensure quality computer science education for all students. This will build on ongoing efforts to enable rigorous computer science education in schools across
the nation. Funds will support the development and assessment of prototype instructional materials, scalable and sustainable professional development models, approaches to pre-service preparation for computer science teachers, and teacher resources. Full funding
for both the National Science Foundation’s R&RA and EHR accounts will help facilitate research into effective approaches to the teaching and learning of computer science across grades Pre K-12.

We appreciate your consideration of this request. If you would like to sign onto our letter, please have your staff fill out this form.

If you have questions, you may contact Kaozouapa Lee in Rep. Lee’s office at 5-2520 or liz.lee@mail.house.gov, or Kyle Hill in Rep. DelBene’s office at 5-6311 or Kyle.Hill@mail.house.gov.

Sincerely,

/s/

Barbara Lee
Member of Congress 

/s/

Suzan DelBene
 Member of Congress

———————————————————————————————–

Dear Chairs and Ranking Members:

As you work to develop the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, and FY2019 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, we write to respectfully request $250 million
for new development grants to further computer science education; and robust funding for the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Research and Related Activities (R&RA) and Education and Human Resources Directorate (EHR) to support the computer science education
for all students.

Providing all students from preschool through high school access to computer science instruction is a critical step to preparing them for jobs in the 21st century global economy. According to the Level Playing Field Institute, it is estimated
that there will be 1.4 million new tech jobs by 2020; however, seventy percent of those jobs will be unfulfilled at the rate American universities are producing qualified graduates for these roles. Currently, just 40 percent of all the K-12 schools in the
United States offer at least one computer science course that includes programming and coding. It is no surprise then that in 2012, the United States slipped to tenth place among Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations in overall
research and development as a percentage of GDP.
[1]
The U.S. ranking has wavered between 10th and 9th among OECD counties since then.

Clearly, we must urgently support education in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields to ensure that our nation continues to lead in innovation. We must ensure that America’s students are equipped with critical skills needed
to succeed in the world economy. This is why we respectfully request $250 million in FY2019 for development grants which will help build on current efforts to prepare students for careers in a 21st century economy.

The Department of Education building a program with a particular focus of supporting girls and students of color in computer science would increase enrollment and participation. In 2017, only 27 percent of the nearly 100,000 students who took an Advanced
Placement computer science exam were girls. Those numbers are even starker for students of color as 5 percent of test takers were African American and 15 percent were Latino. While these numbers remain low, they doubled from 2016 because of the introduction
of a new course in computer science principles – suggesting that increasing opportunities for girls and students of color works.

Recognizing that students can only be prepared if their teachers are,
we also request full funding for the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Research and Related Activities (R&RA) and Education and Human Resources Directorate (EHR).
This will build on ongoing efforts to enable rigorous computer science education in schools across the nation. Funds will support the development and assessment of prototype instructional materials, scalable and sustainable professional development
models, approaches to preservice preparation for computer science teachers, and teacher resources. Full funding for both the National Science Foundation’s R&RA and EHR accounts will help facilitate research into effective approaches to the teaching and learning
of computer science across grades Pre K-12.

In order to lead the world in innovation, we must make an investment in our children’s education now by ensuring that all children have access to computer education. We appreciate your consideration of this request.

Sincerely,


[1] OECD (2017), Main Science and Technology Indicators, Volume 2017 Issue 1, OECD Publishing, Paris. Available:
https://data.oecd.org/rd/gross-domestic-spending-on-r-d.htm

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Appropriations, Education, Science, Technology

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