Intel to spend $5 million to expand education at Oakland schools

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Intel and the Oakland Unified School District are entering into a memorandum of understanding in which the technology company will spend $5 million over the next five years to expand computer science and engineering offerings in the district.

The goal is to make sure the opportunities provided at a Oakland Tech High School robotics class don't end there. "A child born into poverty is no less talented or brilliant or creative than a child born into affluence. The difference is access and exposure," Oakland City Council spokesperson Lynette Gibson Mcelhaney said.

Oakland Unified School District's partnership with Intel is designed to beef up curriculum and teacher training at McClymonds and Oakland Tech high schools in order to prepare over 2,000 students for college and careers in engineering and computer technology. "It means a lot more opportunities, a lot more funding and us being capable of doing things we never could have done before," Justin Chen said.

"One of the things we heard from other companies was, 'we can't find them, where are they?' Well I declare that if you can find them in India and China you can find them in Oakland," East Oakland Youth Development Center spokesperson Regina Jackson said.

"When we're talking about the integration of technology we need to make these students successful, in industry it goes beyond can they play a tap game on their phone," Mclymonds High School Engineering Academy Director Kathryn Hall said.

"A lot of our students leave high school without any training, without any exposure to computer science, so we're hoping this money will help grow this vital area," Oakland Tech High School robotics teacher Emmanuel Onyeador said.

The agreement, which was announced at an event in San Francisco last week calls for creating a technology jobs pipeline from Oakland public schools to Silicon Valley.

Bay City News contributed to this story.
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