Richmond Area Students in Attendance as White House Announces $200M a Year for Computer Science Education
25 September, 2017
More than a dozen Richmond-area students were on hand Monday as the White House announced a $200 million per year commitment to computer science education in U.S. schools.
“Unlike similar proposals in previous years, today’s action delivers funding to schools, immediately. Fourteen students from CodeRVA in Richmond and Chesterfield County traveled to Washington to witness the announcement. Besides expanding access to computer science in schools that previously didn’t teach it, the funds promise to increase participation by women and underrepresented minorities.
This funding will jumpstart efforts to ensure every student in every school has the opportunity to learn computer science as part of a well-rounded education. For advocates of increased access and diversity in CS, this is the culmination of years of momentum that began in classrooms, spread to entire school districts, and won the support of business leaders and elected officials globally.
At a time when computing careers are the best-paying, fastest-growing, and largest sector of new wages, impacting every industry in every state, it is no longer acceptable for our schools to limit access to this foundational subject. Our children deserve a level playing field — the opportunity to learn computer science shouldn’t be limited by the color of a student’s skin or the neighborhood she lives in.
The UK, Japan, Ireland, and a dozen other countries have announced plans to add computer science to their school curriculum. It is unacceptable for the U.S. to lag behind. The country that invented the personal computer, the Internet, and the smartphone should also lead in computer science.
The Richmond region’s representation in Washington comes as computer science education in Richmond is on the rise. The four students at the White House from CodeRVA are in their first year at the new, experimental high school near The Diamond.
The school, which has a staff of six and an enrollment of about 100, is focused on computer science and is experimental in nature with internships, year-round schooling and about a 50-50 split between online and face-to-face learning.
“We’re pleased to see the renewed commitment from the administration to computer science education. Virginia, which has the highest density of computer science jobs in the nation, has long been a national leader in making K-12 computer science education a priority,” said Chris Dovi, the executive director of CodeVA, in a statement.
The Richmond-area students who went to the announcement were:
- Sean Reavis, Robious Middle School
- Samuel Raymond, James River High School
- Shalicia Pickett, CodeRVA
- Alanah Mayo, Providence Middle School
- Barbara Wyand, Providence Middle School
- Briana Jackson, Bailey Bridge Middle School
- Kyndal Townes, CodeRVA
- Krystal Rubio, CodeRVA
- Torrence Washington, Elizabeth Davis Middle School
- Richard Drum, Tomahawk Creek Middle School
- John Best, Manchester Middle School
- Kenneth Brake, Swift Creek Middle School
- Hunter Cumbie, Robious Middle School
- Jeffery Cumming, CodeRVA