Arizona Educators From Rural, Low-Income Schools Can Apply For Money To Start Computer Science Programs

By Mariana Dale
Published: Monday, July 15, 2019 - 6:38pm
Updated: Tuesday, August 6, 2019 - 2:13pm

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girls at a Girl Scout summer camp learn about computers
Mariana Dale/KJZZ
Participants at an Arizona Girl Scout summer Computer Techie Bootcamp on June 20, 2017.

This year, Arizona was one of 33 states where legislators created new policies related to computer science, according to nonprofit Code.org.

“It’s important that we have legislation at the state level that helps close gaps around who has access to computer science and who doesn’t,” said Alexis Menocal Harrigan, Code.org director of State Government Affairs. 

Here lawmakers changed a professional development grant program to give priority to educators from rural schools or those where at least 60% majority of students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches. The department gives awards on a first-come, first-served basis. 

“Really the teachers who are already in the classrooms know how to best serve those students so we want to just give those teachers the tools they need to teach computer science by offering rigorous and comprehensive professional development programming,” Harrigan said.

Each school can get up to $25,000 from Arizona’s Computer Science Professional Development Fund to start a new high school program at their school. 

Arizona Department of Education Spokesman Stefan Swiat said there’s $1 million appropriated to the program this fiscal year. 
 
EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to clarify who is eligible for the program. 
 
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