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Obama wants $4 billion to promote computer science

Staff writer |
U.S. President Barack Obama said he will ask Congress for billions of dollars to help students learn computer science skills and prepare for jobs in a changing economy.

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"In the new economy, computer science isn't an optional skill. It's a basic skill," Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address.

Obama said only about one-quarter of K-12 schools offer computer science instruction, but that most parents want their children to develop analytical and coding skills.

"Today's auto mechanics aren't just sliding under cars to change the oil. They're working on machines that run on as many as 100 million lines of code," Obama said.

"That's 100 times more than the Space Shuttle. Nurses are analyzing data and managing electronic health records. Machinists are writing computer programs."

The federal budget proposal for 2017 that Obama plans to send Congress on February 9 will seek $4 billion for grants to states and $100 million for competitive grants for school districts over the next three years to teach computer science in elementary, middle and high schools, administration officials said.


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