President Trump wants the Education Department to invest $200 million to boost U.S. classroom instruction in computer science and STEM — science, technology, engineering and math.
The president announced the initiative Monday while flanked by about 50 schoolchildren and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Labor Secretary Alex Acosta and his daughter, White House adviser Ivanka Trump.
“Greater access to STEM (and) computer-science programs will ensure that our children will develop the skills they need to compete and to win in the workforce,” Trump said.
The memorandum notes that 40 percent of high schools do not offer computer programming classes and that only about one-third of African-American students have access to computer science classes. Girls are also less likely to take computer science courses.
The memorandum directs DeVos to aim to spend $200 million every year “to the promotion of high‑quality STEM education, including computer science in particular,” but does not specify where the money will come from.
Elizabeth Hill, a spokeswoman for the Education Department, said: “We look forward to working with the White House and Congress on identifying grant funds to use for this important initiative.”