Capitol Alert

State budget helps kids learn coding; Influencers talk immigration

Fourth-graders, from left, Quentin Lipscomb, Connor Keehner, Kayla Richwine and Jazmine Savorn write computer code.
Fourth-graders, from left, Quentin Lipscomb, Connor Keehner, Kayla Richwine and Jazmine Savorn write computer code. Sacramento Bee file

KIDS CODING PILOT PROGRAM LAUNCHES

Thousands of K-8 students will soon be able to take advantage of free after school coding classes that will be funded under California’s latest state budget. The $15 million pilot program approved by the Department of Education earlier this month will allow more than 4,000 after school sites to apply for grants of up to $80,000 over three years.

The program aims to offer kids a high-quality coding curriculum, keep lower-income students in a safe environment and prepare them for careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, pushed for the funding and said he would like it to become a model for a statewide program that might also include more middle-class families.

“This is a start,” McCarty said. “If this is successful, maybe we can look at further participation for all California kids. But we had to start somewhere.”

INFLUENCER OF THE DAY

From ‘secure our borders’ to ‘resist Trump’: California Influencers speak out on illegal immigration

“The Trump Administration’s assault on immigrants has been characterized by a complete misrepresentation of facts and demonization of entire communities. The heartless separation of children from parents, the elimination of long-standing legal protections, and curtailing of legal migration into the U.S. fly in the face of what our country has stood for and the values of this democracy. The vast majority of undocumented immigrants are working, starting businesses and paying billions in taxes every year. California’s legislators should continue to focus on three overarching goals: protection of its immigrant residents against the exploitation and abuse of power; the enforcement of state laws that support and protect immigrant communities; and immigrant integration policies that promote full participation in civic society. California is home to more immigrants that any state in the nation and we have led the way in holding firm against efforts to roll back their constitutional protections. It is more urgent now than ever.”

-Monica Lozano, President and CEO of College Futures Foundation

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