A coalition of tech industry heavy-hitters and scions of corporate America have joined forces with a bipartisan group of governors and educators to push Congress for federal funding that would give every K-12 student in the country the chance to learn how to code. The group, a partnership between the Computer Science Education Coalition and Code.org, is petitioning Congress for $250 million in federal funding for the effort.
Among those pledging their support are Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook COO (and bestselling author) Sheryl Sandberg, Bill and Melinda Gates, IAC Chairman Barry Diller, Walmart CEO Doug McMillion. The tech names are joined by California Governor Jerry Brown, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, and 26 other state governors, evenly split across party lines. The educators on board include Oakland schools Superintendent Antwan Wilson, NYC Department of Education Chancellor Carmen Fariña, and NAACP President and CEO Cornell Brooks, among others.
"The breadth of support shows that computer science isn't just a tech problem anymore, it's an America problem," Code.org founder Hadi Partovi explained to TechCrunch.
"And it's not just a Democrat issue, it's the most bipartisan issue in the U.S."Earlier this year, President Obama also hoped to reignite the country's "spirit of innovation," calling for $4 billion to improve computer science curriculums in every K-12 school across the country. Meanwhile, Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Microsoft and Google have also pledged a combined $48 million for coding education across America.