LITTLE ROCK, AR (KAIT) - At least 150 more teachers will have the opportunity to get training to teach students about computer science as state education officials and Gov. Asa Hutchinson say that the additional money will make the difference for teachers and students alike.
In a media release Wednesday, Gov. Hutchinson said he would be allocating $300,000 for the state's K-8 teachers to learn how to teach computer science. A stipend program was created last year with $500,000 in funding.
The program, called the K-8 Computer Science Lead Teacher Stipend and Training Program, is being funded through the Arkansas Department of Education Office of Computer Science.
At least 250 teachers around the state have already signed up for the stipend program. Hutchinson said the funding will help meet demand for employees in the lucrative field while helping teachers receive training.
"Every educator who takes up the challenge to teach computer science to our youngest students not only enhances the life of the student but is building on Arkansas's reputation as a high-tech leader," Hutchinson said. "This is the way to an even stronger workforce and economy that will improve the quality of life for all Arkansans. I am grateful to lead a state whose educators and lawmakers understand this and are willing to fund it."
In order to eligible for the $2,000 stipend program, a teacher has to:
- be a licensed educator at an Arkansas public elementary or middle school.
- attend a five-day professional development session provided at no cost by the Arkansas Department of Education Office of Computer Science;
- obtain the 528 Computer Science Endorsement.
- provide a requisite number of one-on-one support and school-wide professional development hours to other educators.