Letter to the editor: Mills’ signature on compact will advance Maine computer science education

Thank you for your July 14 article highlighting the signing of the Compact to Expand K-12 Computer Science Education, at the National Governors Association summer meeting held in Portland.

Gov. Mills’ signature on this compact is a huge boost for continuing the expansion of computer science education across all Maine public schools. As the Project Login Program director, I know that continuing to advance computer science education will take collaboration across sectors, and lead to greater economic opportunity for our state.

There are currently 1,256 open computing jobs in Maine with an average salary of $81,965. Despite the high earning and job potential, only 60 percent of Maine high schools offer computer science courses to their students, according to advocacy.code.org.

Fortunately, programs like Project Login are working hard with our education, government, nonprofit and business partners to help empower more Maine schools to offer computer science courses and encourage more students to pursue computer science education, including those who traditionally have been underrepresented in the field.

Computer science is not just learning about computers; these courses also help students learn essential skills that can serve them no matter what field they choose to enter. Our goal is to ensure that computer science is a subject offered to all of Maine’s K-12 students, and we hope with Gov. Mills’ signature, we can all work together to achieve this goal by utilizing the broad range of strategies listed in the compact.

Angela Oechslie
director, Project Login Program, Educate Maine

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