Murphy Administration Allocates $1.8 Million to Expand Computer Science Education in NJ Schools


Governor Phil Murphy and Acting Education Commissioner Kevin Dehmer unveil new funding to expand computer science programs and professional learning opportunities in New Jersey.

NEW JERSEY – Governor Phil Murphy and Acting Education Commissioner Kevin Dehmer have announced $1.79 million in grants to bolster computer science education across New Jersey. This funding will support the establishment and expansion of high-quality computer science courses in 27 school districts and charter schools and create three Computer Science Hubs for teacher training at local colleges and universities.

Expanding Computer Science in High Schools

The grants, named Expanding Computer Science Professional Learning and Expanding Computer Science High School Courses, are part of the Governor’s Fiscal Year 2024 budget. Notably, 17 of the 27 schools receiving the High School Courses grant will focus on cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence (AI), aligning with the Governor’s “AI Moonshot” initiative aimed at making New Jersey a leader in AI innovation and economic growth.

New Jersey averaged 13,300 open computing jobs each month last year, with an average salary of $96,251, according to the 2023 State of Computer Science Education report by The state has seen significant progress in computer science education, with 82% of high schools offering such courses, up from 59% in 2017-2018.

“The goals of these grants are foundational elements in the vision set forth in the Computer Science State Plan that the Department unveiled five years ago,” said Acting Education Commissioner Kevin Dehmer. “We know experience in computer science and design thinking can lead to high-demand and innovative careers. These skills can greatly advance opportunities after high school, and that is why we believe it is an educational imperative to expand offerings of these courses."

Expanding Computer Science Professional Learning

This grant will establish three regional Computer Science Learning Hubs for professional development for teachers and administrators. The goals include increasing the number of qualified educators from diverse backgrounds, providing learning opportunities and resources, and ensuring equitable access to computer science education for all students.

Professional Learning Grant Awards

  • Northern Region: Montclair State University - $300,000
  • Central Region: The College of New Jersey - $300,000
  • Southern Region: Stockton University - $300,000

These colleges and universities will collaborate with other institutions, school districts, and charter schools receiving the High School Courses grant to maximize the impact of the funding.

Expanding Computer Science High School Courses

This grant aims to help schools implement or expand Advanced Placement Computer Science courses and courses in Cybersecurity, AI, and other computer science fields. It prioritizes schools lacking computer science programs to establish these courses by the 2024-2025 school year, aligned with the New Jersey Student Learning Standards in Computer Science (NJSLS-CS).

High School Courses Grant Awards

  • Bergen County: Bergen Arts and Science Charter School - $39,700; Lyndhurst Township - $39,752; Northern Valley Regional - $40,000; Palisades Park - $40,000; Ridgewood Public Schools - $40,000
  • Burlington County: Burlington City - $39,871
  • Essex County: Belleville - $40,000; Nutley Township - $39,921
  • Gloucester County: Gateway Regional High School - $15,000
  • Hudson County: Hoboken - $14,779; Hudson County Vocational - $39,880
  • Middlesex County: Dunellen - $15,000; New Brunswick - $11,990; South River - $39,971
  • Monmouth County: Keyport - $39,925; Monmouth Regional High School District - $37,918; Ocean Township - $32,745
  • Morris County: Roxbury Township - $40,000
  • Passaic County: Passaic Arts and Science Charter School - $39,700; Passaic City - $19,664; Paterson Arts and Science Charter School - $39,700; Paterson City - $40,000; Pompton Lakes - $35,072; West Milford - $16,640
  • Somerset County: Franklin Township - $40,000
  • Sussex County: Lenape Valley Regional High School - $36,582
  • Union County: Springfield Township - $17,274

Total allocation for this grant is $891,084.

Building on Previous Initiatives

The Murphy Administration has invested nearly $9 million in initiatives to elevate computer science education in New Jersey. Previous funding has supported the creation of six Computer Science Learning Hubs and the implementing of advanced coursework in nearly 50 school districts.

  • 2018: $2 million for Advanced Computer Science grant program.
  • 2021: $800,000 for Computer Science Learning Hubs at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Kean University, and Rutgers University.
  • 2022: $2 million for New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Computer Science grants to Fairleigh Dickinson University, Montclair State University, Stockton University, and The College of New Jersey.
  • 2023: $2 million to continue two of the 2022 grant programs.

This ongoing commitment underscores New Jersey’s dedication to preparing students for the growing demand in computing fields and fostering innovation in technology and education.

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