Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced plans to build a statewide school dedicated to cybersecurity, technology and engineering during her State of the State address this week.
Ivey, a Republican, said she wants the state’s cybersecurity sector to be as robust and well-regarded as its aerospace program. She plans to achieve that goal with the formation of the Alabama School of Cyber-Technology and Engineering, which will be based in Huntsville —home of the Marshall Space Flight Center, a key NASA facility.
Officials hope the magnet school — the third of its kind in Alabama — will begin classes by fall 2020. They envision it accommodating 300 students in grades 7-12.
“This school will prepare some of our state’s highest-achieving students to enter the growing fields of cyber-technology and engineering,” Ivey said Tuesday evening. “Just as Huntsville has always been on the leading edge of the rocket and aerospace industries, the Alabama School of Cyber-Technology and Engineering will ensure that Alabama students are at the forefront of today’s emerging technologies.”
During the address, Ivey also proposed funding for scholarships for math and science teachers — an effort to promote STEM education — and touted the success of Alabama’s existing specialized schools: the Alabama School of Fine Arts and the Alabama School of Mathematics and Science in Mobile.
Because those two schools have been effective in preparing students for future jobs, Ivey said, the state was ready to expand to a third.
“As workforce needs evolve, we must create educational opportunities that prepare our people to meet those needs,” she said of the forthcoming Alabama School of Cyber-Technology and Engineering.