EUGENE — Governor Kate Brown today announced that she is directing $5 million in federal dollars to schools and community-based organizations to provide students across Oregon access to computer science education.
The investment is part of a new initiative to provide access to computer science education opportunities for every public high school student in Oregon by the 2027-2028 school year. The Governor made the announcement in conjunction with STEM week (May 9-13) while visiting Connected Lane County’s Spark on 7th, which offers extended out-of-school STEM education and training opportunities for youth to gain hands-on experience.
“Every child in Oregon deserves an education that will give them an equal shot at success in our modern economy,” said Governor Brown. “And now, more than ever, a deep understanding of computer science is a critical skill for today’s workforce. That’s why I am proud to announce this important investment and chart a roadmap to ensure equitable access to computer science skills for Oregon’s students.”
“Existing computer science initiatives in schools across Oregon, whether in STEM-focused classes, AP/IB, or CTE, have been delivering for students, but these initiatives have not yet reached into all the schools or all the diverse communities of our state,” said Colt Gill, Director of Oregon Department of Education. “Today’s direction from Governor Brown allows Oregon to grow STEM and CTE technology literacy and computer science courses with a focus on inclusivity for female students, students of color, and other students who have historically been marginalized and left out of these opportunities. The workplace has changed, and these initiatives are needed to offer our students the boost they need to be future ready.”
The $5 million investment comes from available Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) funds and will be dedicated to schools and community-based organizations to ensure students across Oregon, particularly women and students of color, are provided with education and enrichment opportunities related to computer science. The Governor also directed the Oregon Department of Education and the Higher Education Coordinating Commission to develop a statewide implementation plan for computer science education.
The Governor was joined at Spark on 7th by Connected Lane County Executive Director Heidi Larwick, STEM Investment Board Members, Oregon Department of Education Director Colt Gill, Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission Deputy Executive Director Ramona Rodamaker, state legislators, and students from local elementary, middle, and high schools.