Boyertown, Kutztown, Fleetwood and Governor Mifflin school districts received state grants for computer science education.

Building on his commitment to prepare students to use computers and technology in their careers, Gov. Tom Wolf on Jan. 17 announced $8.7 million in targeted grants to expand computer science classes and teacher training at 765 schools across the commonwealth.

Each receiving a $35,000 grant, local recipients include Kutztown Area School District’s Kutztown Elementary, Greenwich-Lenhartsville Elementary, Kutztown Middle School, Kutztown High School; Boyertown Area School District’s Boyertown Middle School East, Boyertown Middle School West, New Hanover Elementary, Gilbertsville Elementary, Colebrookdale Elementary, Pine Forge Elementary, Washington Elementary; Fleetwood Area School District’s Fleetwood Area Middle School, Fleetwood Area High School; and Governor Mifflin School District’s Brecknock Elementary, Cumru Elementary, and Gov. Mifflin Park Elementary.

The targeted grants represent the next phase of the governor’s new and innovative PAsmart initiative, which will provide $20 million to bring high-quality computer science and STEM education in elementary, middle, and high schools, and professional development for teachers. With this commitment, Pennsylvania now ranks second in the country for investments in K-12 STEM and computer science.

“Over the next decade, 7 in 10 new jobs in Pennsylvania will require workers to use computers and new technologies in a constantly changing economy,” said Wolf. “With these grants, more students will get the skills they need for emerging high-demand jobs.

“Through these investments, we are building a well-trained workforce that will meet the needs of employers, strengthen the middle class, and grow the economy for everyone.”

In addition to helping schools introduce and expand computer science programming, the targeted grants will provide greater opportunities for students of color, low-income students and girls to learn critical skills needed to succeed in today’s workforce.

“Equity continues to be an area of focus for Pennsylvania’s schools by providing access and opportunities to all students regardless of zip code,” said PA Education Secretary Pedro Rivera. “The PAsmart targeted grants will help to address opportunity gaps, boosting participation among historically underserved and underrepresented student populations.”

Targeted grant recipients include 221 school districts, two career and technical centers, and 18 charter and cyber charter schools, and eight intermediate units, each of which will receive $35,000.

Additional funding in the $30 million PAsmart initiative for science and technology education, apprenticeships and job training will be announced in the coming weeks.

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