SB 190 Passes, Government Funds Are Now Dedicated To Improving K-16 Computing Education In Utah

$1.25M per year headed towards educating the next wave of Utah’s developers and computer experts.

SB 190 — known as the Education Computing Pathways Initiative — was recently brought before Utah’s legislative bodies, subjected to a vote on whether or not the state would establish a K-16 Computing Pathways Grant program that funnels money towards educating students and teachers in the area of computer science.

Things are now official — SB 190 has been passed and funded, with an annual $1.25M set aside for the grant program.

“The next steps for the new program will include convening stakeholders — educators, industry and other government agencies — together and build out the strategy for the next 3–5 years,” said Tami Goetz, executive director of the STEM Action Center. “We will also be working with stakeholders to create a Request for Proposals to help guide districts in their application efforts to request funding.”

The program will be managed by the STEM Action Center and hopes to accomplish numerous things (information provided courtesy of Goetz):

  • Grant awardees will participate in a statewide network to support collaboration, share challenges and best practices and leverage resources
  • A focus on industry engagement in the classroom
  • Proposed activities will be within the context of a common K-16 framework , with common metrics
  • It will be competitive, but the application will be designed to allow equitable access to small, rural partners
  • The grant awardees will participate in a statewide, collaborative network
  • There will be an emphasis on activities in K-8 that enhance integration of computing across subject areas

Exciting times, especially on the heels of the I-15 transportation bond bill passing that promises to speed up construction along the I-15 Tech Corridor. When you combine the two wins for the tech community, you have a one-two punch of new roads and new developers to continue growing Utah’s tech and startup community. What a world.

While I’m very excited for Utah’s children, I’m also a little jealous that today’s youth will be afforded opportunities that I was not. My advice: take advantage, children, and make sure you understand how/why to use Snapchat like I never did.

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