FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: DAVID MIYASHIRO, (808) 220-2183
Honolulu, Hawaii – Today, Gov. David Y. Ige signed HB 2607 into law, investing $500,000 in public computer science education and creating more opportunities for Hawaii students to learn STEM skills.
The signing took place in the Hawaii State Capitol Executive Chambers, and was attended by 35 people.
“We’re celebrating today for keiki across Hawaii—especially girls and young women, and students from low-income households, who typically have less access to high quality computer science classes,” said David Miyashiro, founding executive director of the nonprofit HawaiiKidsCAN. “The strongest champions for this law were high school students in some of the state’s only computer science and AP computer science classes. Our kids want to be ready for the future. Now they’ll have a better, and more fair, shot.”
HawaiiKidsCAN partnered with Code.org this year to determine the real-world impact of the law. The study showed that Hawaii could double the number of computer science teachers in its public school classrooms by 2019, and could remove barriers to STEM learning for 26,000 students in years to come.
“We’re excited for this big step forward,” Miyashiro said. “We are seeing growing momentum for computer science education, including at the Department of Education, University of Hawaii, Board of Education, and with Governor Ige. We’re also excited to see what our kids create when we eliminate barriers to technology and science.”
HawaiiKidsCAN was among a coalition of partners from Hawaii and beyond that rallied behind HB 2607. Their partner organizations include DevLeague, Purple Maiʻa, Microsoft, Code.org, Hawaii Open Data, Oceanit and Maui Economic Development Board’s Women in Technology Initiative.
To show lawmakers the importance of computer science education, HawaiiKidsCAN visited the Capitol with students and teachers from Campbell High School, Roosevelt High School and DevLeague, and parents, students and teachers also provided written testimony from from Hawaii Technology Academy, Farrington High School, Iolani School and Kalaheo High School. The nonprofit also partnered in advocacy with the Hawaii Department of Education’s computer science team and Superintendent Kishimoto.
About HawaiiKidsCAN: Launched in 2017, HawaiiKidsCAN: The Hawaii Campaign for Achievement Now empowers communities with accessible information about our schools, and helps elevate their voices and concerns to build the conditions for all students in Hawaii to thrive. We use research and communications, grassroots organizing and direct advocacy at the statehouse to ensure a more equitable future for our keiki.