In Gov. Murphy’s introduction of his first budget the Governor proposes a $2 million grant program to help high schools offer college-level Computer Science courses and to support teachers’ professional development. The budget also provides start-up funding for STEM-focused high schools that allow students to earn advanced degrees while preparing them for high-skilled jobs. Further along the education continuum, New Jersey will launch a loan forgiveness program this year for STEM graduates who remain in the state.
On the campaign trail Gov Murphy promised to support CS education:
Today’s dynamic economy demands a commitment to a world-class education for a 21st century workforce. Computing jobs are the number one source of all new wages in the U.S. and make up two-thirds of projected new jobs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. But in 2015, New Jersey only had 1,111 computer science graduates to fill over 23,000 openings in computing jobs. Tragically, too many of our communities are being left out of the innovation economy: 75 percent of all high schools in New Jersey do not provide Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science, and of those students who took AP Computer Science, less than a quarter were female and just 12 percent were underrepresented minorities. Governor Murphy believes that every student should have the opportunity to develop the skills needed to compete for and succeed in the innovation economy. As Governor, Murphy will:
- Fully fund our K-12 public schools and develop a world-class STEM curriculum;
- Launch a “Computer Science for All” initiative that will provide computer science (CS) education to every child in New Jersey’s public schools;
- Partner with companies throughout the state to expand access to STEM internships and vocational programs;
- Work to put a college education within reach for every New Jerseyan by lowering tuition and fees at public two- and four-year colleges;
- Correct the STEM-teacher shortage by providing loan forgiveness for STEM educators in high-need schools and creating a new STEM-educator fellowship program to recruit and train a new class of STEM teachers.