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LITTLE ROCK – If you’re a computer teacher sciences teacher, there’s some good news on the horizon.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson has announced the expansion of the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) Computer Science Teacher Stipend Program, which will allow each high school computer science teacher to apply for up to $10,000 in stipends over a five-year period.

In 2015, Hutchinson provided $5 million to ADE to begin the Arkansas Computer Science Initiative. The governor directed ADE to use a portion of this funding to establish and maintain a one-time $2,000 teacher stipend program for high school teachers who add the computer science endorsement to their licenses and teach courses in the field. The expanded program will provide additional support for the development of computer science programs year after year for up to five years. The stipends will come from the $2.5 million in annual funding the governor has allocated for ADE to support his computer science initiative, a press release said.

“The expansion of this stipend program will continue our efforts to ensure that our students have access to quality computer science courses in our schools,” Hutchinson said in a statement. “Since the creation of the program, our state has added more than 225 fully certified computer science teachers and has awarded over $200,000 in stipends directly to high school teachers. This expansion will motivate educators who have been considering teaching computer science to start, and it will also challenge our computer science teachers to continue developing in their field.”

Under the expanded program, the requirements for each additional year will evolve, placing an increased responsibility on the teacher and school to ensure the continued improvement and development of the computer science education programs in Arkansas.

ADE will provide more information about the application process for this program later this semester, the release said.

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