Reps. Smith and Brooks Lead Push for Computer Science Support
Washington, DC – On Thursday, Congressman Lamar Smith (TX-21) and Congresswoman Susan Brooks (IN-5) sent a letter to House appropriators urging them to prioritize support for K-12 computer science education.
The letter, signed by Smith, Brooks and 22 of their colleagues on both sides of the aisle, notes how only one in four K-12 schools in the U.S. teach rigorous computer science courses. States and school districts understand the need to improve and are leading the way, investing their limited resources in computer science education. By prioritizing support for computer science education at the federal level, Congress can contribute to improving our country’s competitiveness, addressing national security and cyber defense concerns, and creating more jobs for our local communities.
As Chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, Rep. Smith championed the STEM Education Act. This bill, which has been signed into law, adds computer science to the definition of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and strengthens ongoing STEM education efforts supported by the National Science Foundation.
Congressman Lamar Smith: "I’ve heard from countless employers that there are not enough applicants with the technical skills they need to fill the positions they’re looking for. We need to equip our country’s students and teachers with the resources needed to succeed in the 21st century."
Congresswoman Brooks: “As a former community college administrator, I understand the importance of providing our kids with the skills that will help them succeed in college and throughout their career,” Brooks said. “To maintain our nation’s competitive edge, America must raise a new generation of innovators ready to meet the demands of a global and tech-driven economy. Computing plays a crucial role in aligning our current educational attainment gap and opportunities in the workforce, and we must prioritize computer science education for students of all ages.”
In April, a bipartisan group CEOs, of governors, and education leaders wrote to Congress asking for every student in every school to have an opportunity to learn computer science. The House Appropriations Committee will be weighing computer science funding in this year’s Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriations bill.
Other signers of Rep. Smith and Brooks’ computer science letter include representatives: