Microsoft To Provide High Tech Training At All Yakima Valley High Schools

OLYMPIA — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn announced that he has reached an agreement with Microsoft to create a statewide high school IT Academy in Washington state. This new initiative will be the subject of a legislative work session in the House Education Committee, Tuesday, April 5.
The Washington IT Academy is a technology education program consisting of two major areas: training and certification. Students and teachers and administrators can take advantage of the training through online courses and official Microsoft materials. They then can become certified in a number of IT subjects, including Microsoft Office as well as advanced topics such as programming, network administration and database development. Microsoft will provide the software and staff support to every high school in the state.
“This is a huge win for Washington,” Dorn said. “More than 300,000 students would have access to Microsoft training through the Academy. More and more, future jobs will require high-tech skills, and the chance to get those skills for free at the high school level is remarkable.
“We’ve been working on this plan for about four months,” Dorn said. “We’re very close to an agreement. But the agreement requires legislative approval before we can make it available to students. The cost is $2 million. That small investment could get us a program that would cost school districts $30 million if they purchased this program individually.”
OSPI, Microsoft Education and school districts will discuss this innovative program in the House Education Appropriations and Oversight Committee. “I appreciate Representative Kathy Haigh and the Committee agreeing to hear the details about this exciting program – I’m convinced this will make a difference for students across this State,” Dorn said.