Grants totaling nearly $1 million were awarded this week to 26 school districts and nonprofit organizations around Washington state. The funding, authorized by the legislature, is intended to improve access to computer science and related educational programs in Washington, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction announced Monday.

For Walla Walla Public Schools, that means $50,000 to train teachers, plus provide and upgrade technology. The Prosser School District received $5,400.

The grants expand computer science access to students who have historically been underrepresented in computer science programs and careers, such as girls and minority students, noted Dennis Matson, director of Southeast Area Technical Skills Center for WWPS.

The state Legislature provided $1 million for computer science education grant funding in 2018. The state grant funds will be matched equally by private sources, which effectively doubles the total grant amount to $2 million, according to a news release from OSPI.