The US Department of Education plans to invest at least $200 million in annual grant funding to expand STEM and computer science education in schools through programs built with "gender and racial diversity in mind," the White House announced on Monday.
The new program, endorsed by President Donald Trump and spearheaded by his daughter-turned-advisor Ivanka Trump, will focus on equipping the younger generation with skills today's jobs require around coding, computer science and technology. It will also have a specific focus on females and minorities that are today under-represented in the tech world, starting in K-12 and post-secondary programs. (See Ovum: Women Poised to Close Tech Skills Gap.)
Ivanka Trump told reporters Monday that the funding plan comes with support from the private sector. She will announce the specific companies at a press event in Detroit tomorrow, but Recode suggests they include big names like Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Facebook , Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and General Motors .
“Our country is facing a challenge that it hasn't had to address in two generations: reworking the education system to keep pace with advancing technology," Microsoft President Brad Smith said in a statement released Monday. "In the 1950s, the race to space drove schools to start teaching physics. Today, it's all about computer science. Microsoft looks forward to partnering with other companies, non-profit groups, and the federal and state governments to help bring computer science into America's mainstream education curriculum. It's good for our country, our businesses, and most importantly, our nation's young people.”
This is one of the few issues these tech giants see eye-to-eye with the Trump administration on, with many of their leaders clashing with the president over his tepid response to violence in Charlottesville, ending the DACA immigration program and his immigration policy, in general. (See Intel CEO Leaves Trump Biz Advisory Board and Trump & Tech: Round 1.)
— Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms