Teaching is a catch-22 career. Our government is adamant that teachers are underpaid. For the school year, they work impossible hours in preparation and grading in addition to the teaching time. Then in the off season teachers attend seminars and training, as well as preparation for the coming year. A teacher works as hard, if not harder, than any other career, and has to deal with insultingly low wages. And when the teacher's discipline is in high demand outside of education, then keeping qualified teachers is near impossible.
So what constitutes a qualified computer science teacher? Primarily, the individual needs to love to code. One cannot encourage students from a diverse set of backgrounds to come to learn programming without a love of the art. The teacher should have a github account, with projects in various languages, exploring the world of programming. Then the teacher needs to bring that love of the science to life for the students, imparting to the students a craving to create.
Better facilities are needed. A few years ago as part of my Master's program, I visited a prominent school district's Technology Education Center for high school students. The computer science room was dark, drab, with wood paneling and painted cinder blocks. It was highly uninviting. To attract and retain a diverse crowd of students, we need facilities that inspire art, as well a science. The layout of the room needs to encourage collaboration as well as places to facilitate focus. Proper lighting is crucial. And the facility should inspire hope, and desire to accomplish. Current CS education facilities repel great software engineering candidates.
So what can more money do computer science education in Utah. Recruit and retain great teachers, and provide the best facilities. When we petition our congressional representatives for the funding, we should also petition education leaders to use the money wisely.