Because computer science isn’t considered a “core subject” under federal education law, schools have been reluctant to use federal dollars on computer labs and classes, she said.
“We can’t produce enough computer science people,” she said. “In manufacturing and logistics, they need computer science skills.”
At Tuesday’s forum, hosted by Conexus Indiana, the state’s advanced manufacturing and logistics initiative, Brooks also heard a bit of the internal discussion educators are having as more and more emphasis is placed on career development.
From educators at career centers calling for more funding to purchase advanced manufacturing equipment to train students, to suggestions that Washington take its cue from state-level discussions taking place at Gov. Mike Pence’s Indiana Career Council and Indiana Works Councils, Brooks heard a cross section of the debate.
In Washington, Brooks said, legislators are hung up on a reauthorization of funding for career and technical centers, but are showing more progress in efforts to streamline workforce development funding.
Thursday, Brooks is talking with another group of teachers at a seminar she’s hosting on agribusiness career opportunities, to be held at Beck’s Hybrids in Atlanta.
A former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, she’s perhaps better known for her work on homeland security issues in Congress.
But she told her audience Tuesday she’s hoping to play a key role in the career education discussion.
“As long as I’m in Congress, this is something I’m going to be talking about,” she said.
Scott Smith is on Twitter, @JasonSSmith1, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org