Oracle on Wednesday announced that it was joining President Obama’s Computer Science For All program by committing to spend $200 million in donations and technology in the next 18 months.
The White House announced the program last January. The goal is to turn computer science into a regular subject taught at American schools from kindergarten through high school.
The plan called for a $4 billion budget for states and $100 million budget directly for school districts to train teachers and give schools the tech and resources they need.
$135 million in computer science funding came from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Corporation for National And Community Service (CNCS).
But the President has also called on tech companies to step up with donations of tech and money.
Companies including Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Qualcomm all said they would increase their existing investment in CS education as part of the program. Salesforce.org, the philanthropic division of Salesforce.com, announced a new $16 million commitment to donate to CS and STEM education.
The Cartoon Network launched a $30 million campaign to encourage young people to code and Code.org said it would train 25,000 additional teachers this year.
Oracle’s $200 million donation isn’t all cash. The company is giving away curriculum, professional development for teachers, software, and certification resources. Plus, Oracle will spend more than $3 million on nonprofits focused on teaching girls and other underrepresented populations to pursue STEM and CS degrees.
Companies have a vested interest in supporting training programs for kids. In addition to helping grow a generation of qualified employees, the sooner these companies can expose kids to their own sets of technologies, the more likely they will become lifelong users of their tech.
In any case, education is Oracle CEO Safra Catz’s philanthropic passion. Last year, Oracle announced it was building an entire high school on its massive Silicon Valley campus, a project that was her idea.
The company also has Oracle Academy, a program that teaches computer science to kids in schools in 106 countries. Oracle says today’s donation means the company expects to reach another 232,000 students in the US to teach them maths and coding skills
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