new tech cash to aid schools

President Obama will ask Congress for $4.1 billion to expand computer programming classes in every public school, the White House said Saturday.

The proposal, backed by technology firms including Apple, Google and Microsoft, will be included in Obama’s fiscal 2017 budget, to be released Feb. 9. Teaching basic coding to more grade-school children is necessary to expand the U.S. economy, Obama said.

“In the new economy, computer science isn’t an optional skill — it’s a basic skill,” Obama said Saturday in his weekly address. “I’ve got a plan to help make sure all our kids get an opportunity to learn computer science.”

The proposal would provide $4 billion to states and $100 million to school districts over three years that could be used to train teachers, expand course offerings and improve programs that encourage girls and minorities to pursue technology careers.

Bloomberg News