Maryland makes $7 million investment to bring computer science to every school

On the last day of their legislative session, the Maryland legislature passed a bill expanding access to computer science education across the state. And today, Gov. Larry Hogan signed the bill into law.

“By passing HB 281, the General Assembly has taken a critical step to make Maryland the Silicon Valley of the East,” said Delegate Aruna Miller, the bill’s sponsor. “We must ensure that all of our children, no matter what their zip code, can fully participate in the 21st-century economy. Our students should just not be consumers of technology — they should be the creators of it.”

“As a Maryland resident, I am proud of the collaboration with local advocates such as the Maryland Center for Computing Education and our national partners such as Microsoft, College Board, and Girls Who Code,” said Pat Yongpradit, Code.org’s Chief Academic Officer. “The passage of the bill was truly a grassroots, bipartisan effort.”

Governor Larry Hogan announced his plan for computer science education in November after joining the Governor’s Partnership for K12 CS in July 2017. In joining the Partnership, the governor committed to strengthening computer science education across Maryland for all students, ensuring they would be prepared for the jobs of the future and committed $5 million to fund teacher professional development for computer science.

“For nearly three years, our administration has worked tirelessly to build an unrivaled ecosystem of innovation and economic growth in Maryland,” said Governor Hogan. “We want to make sure that Marylanders have the tools and the skills they need to compete for 21st century jobs. Maryland simply must continue to lead the way, and closing this skills gap begins with a focus on education. We must spark the interest of students — particularly girls — beginning at an even younger age, and we must inspire high school and college students to pursue careers in computer science.”

The legislation requires public high schools to offer at least one high-quality computer science course, requires county boards to make every effort to add computer science to elementary and middle schools with a focus on diversity, increases the number of computer science teachers, and creates the Maryland Center for Computing Education. It also included $2 million to help fulfill this commitment, bringing the total amount to $7 million over three years.

Way to go, Maryland!