$1.3M in state funding goes to support computer science SOLs
School systems and universities were allocated up to $150K each.
More than $1.3 million in state grants will go toward preparing students for Virginia’s Computer Science Standards of Learning tests, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Monday. The funding will be used for teacher professional development, computer science curriculum creation, instructional resources, assessments, programming and work opportunities. Underserved populations will receive priority when grants are awarded, Northam said in a news release.
The 2016 General Assembly passed legislation that requires the Standards of Learning exams to include computer science and coding. These standards were adopted by the state Board of Education in 2017 and are the first mandatory K-12 computer science standards in the country.
“Knowing the basics of computer science can open doors to virtually any career in our fast-growing 21st-century economy,” Northam said in a statement. “With these grants, we have a tremendous opportunity to put today’s students on a path to developing the key computer science and coding skills they need to compete for the jobs of tomorrow.”
School systems were granted awards based on the type of programs or instruction they would provide for K-12 students. Funding will go to instruction, extracurriculars, teacher training, standards of learning and other programs to strengthen computer science education.
- Radford Public Schools — $149,983
- Virginia Beach Public Schools — $148,678
- Charlottesville Public Schools — $124,000
- Cumberland County Public Schools — $99,800
- Floyd County Public Schools — $77,166
- Prince William County Public Schools — $125,000
- Stafford County Public Schools — $118,481
Four public universities were also granted awards to develop partnerships with school agencies and school divisions in their regions. George Mason University, Old Dominion University, University of Virginia’s College at Wise and Virginia Commonwealth University were each allocated approximately $125,000 in funding.
“The funded projects will equip our teachers to present the content of the Computer Science Standards of Learning in the context of real-life challenges and create school-to-work partnerships to connect students with career opportunities,” Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane said in a statement. “It is truly exciting to see school divisions, colleges and universities, and the private sector collaborate to implement the standards in ways that prepare students for postsecondary and career success.”