MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The State Senate moved on Thursday morning to establish the Alabama School of Cyber Technology and Engineering, a central proposal of Governor Kay Ivey’s State of the State address in January. The School will be located in Huntsville. Sponsored by Senator Arthur Orr (R-Decatur), the legislation sailed through on a 26-0 vote.
“Our goal is to establish the best cyber engineering high school in the nation,” Orr said Thursday afternoon. “And Huntsville is the perfect location: the Tennessee Valley has one of the highest rates of engineers per capita in the country, and there are dozens of brilliant engineering faculty members and graduate students at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.”
The School for Cyber Technology and Engineering will operate as a public magnet school for students in grades 7-12 and any student from Alabama can apply for admittance. The school’s first class will begin in August 2020. Senator Orr said the school will eventually have an enrollment of approximately 300 students.
“With the Marshall Space Flight Center and Redstone Arsenal, Alabama is at the forefront of engineering and technological research,” Governor Ivey remarked. “The Alabama School of Cyber Technology and Engineering will position Alabama as a leading education hub for cyber research and engineering in America. I appreciate Senator Orr’s leadership in moving this bill through the Alabama Senate.”
In addition to the Marshall Space Flight Center and Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville is home to the National Cyber Summit, an annual conference featuring private sector executives and government representatives, including speakers from the Department of Defense and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
“Obviously, there are a lot of news articles lately on the cyber threats our democracy faces from nations like Russia,” Orr observed. “Every year, more of our lives rely on internet-based technology, and it is imperative that America produce the smartest, most innovative cyber engineers in the world. I am confident that with the right leadership, the Alabama School for Cyber Technology and Engineering can become the premier launching pad for the nation’s brightest young cyber engineers.”
“I applaud Governor Ivey’s visionary leadership in making this part of her 2018 legislative agenda,” Orr concluded.
Senator Orr’s proposal now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Senator Arthur Orr is a Republican representing District 3 in the Alabama Senate, which is comprised of all or parts of Morgan, Madison, and Limestone counties. Senator Orr is the Chairman of the Finance and Taxation Education Committee. Follow him on Twitter for the latest legislative updates: @SenatorAOrr