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Group commits $1M for Mississippi computer science education

January 7, 2021 GMT

RIDGELAND, Miss. (AP) — An organization announced Thursday that it is committing $1 million to help Mississippi school districts start computer science classes.

The money is coming from C Spire Foundation, a charity connected to the Mississippi-based telecommunications and technology company C Spire.

A C Spire news release said the company will ask Mississippi legislators this year to consider making computer science classes available in all elementary schools, middle schools and high schools by 2024-25. The release said 48% of Mississippi high schools currently teach computer science.

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“Now more than ever, we need to be equipping all of our children to master the digital tools of the 21st century and providing them with educational opportunities to hone their knowledge and skills on the building blocks of meaningful and relevant learning that will form the foundation of our state’s economic future,” Hu Meena, president and CEO of C Spire, said in the statement.

The release said that Mississippi employers have more than 1,475 unfilled jobs because of a shortage of trained, qualified information technology and computing workers.

C Spire has been promoting computer science education in Mississippi since 2015 with coding challenges, coding academies and accelerated degree programs.