Ivanka Trump is calling for computer science to be taught to students as early as kindergarten.
Trump, who is President Trump’s daughter and adviser, said the “pathway to well-paying jobs and rewarding careers” must begin “well before college or trade school,” in an op-ed published by the New York Post on Wednesday.
Trump points out that more than two-thirds of all technology jobs are now outside of the tech sector, in fields ranging from manufacturing to financial services, and that “60 percent of K-12 schools” reported having not having any computer-science courses available to students.
Expanding computer science education is an issue Trump has made a focal point during her time in the administration.
Trump attended a coding class in March with her 5-year-old daughter, Arabella, saying “coding truly is the language of the future.”
Trump also went to an event in Detroit last week, alongside Quicken Loans CEO Dan Gilbert and Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson, where private-sector companies, including Quicken Loans, General Motors, and Lockheed Martin, pledged $300 million to help increase computer science education programs across the country.
Last week, the president announced a $200 million a year initiative to make teaching computer coding a priority in U.S. schools. Funding for the initiative would come from money already appropriated to the Education Department that would then be distributed to schools in the form of grants starting in fiscal 2018.
The agency says it will work with Ivanka Trump to prioritize programs that can reach young girls and minority students who are often underrepresented in STEM fields, which are science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.