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Cybersecurity magnet school coming to Huntsville

A first-of-its-kind magnet school is opening in Huntsville.

Posted: Jan 10, 2018 6:14 PM
Updated: Jan 10, 2018 7:05 PM

The Huntsville/Madison Chamber of Commerce, Cyber Huntsville and the state are banding together to respond to a growing need for cybersecurity and engineering professionals.

"There's going to be 4,500 jobs in Alabama alone next year that go unfilled in cyber and engineering. We're responding to that," Pat Sullivan said.

Sullivan works with Cyber Huntsville. He told WAAY 31 the location is still to be determined, but it will give students quick and easy access to the engineering and cyber programs at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and the professionals working in Cummings Research Park.

"Where they can exercise and practice with the best and brightest in our community. It only makes sense to put that right where they can have immediate, local access to those facilities and capabilities," Sullivan said.

The school will open in August 2020, but only for students in 10th and 11th grade with 50 students per grade.

From there, the school will phase in students from oldest to youngest: 12th grade then 9th, 8th and 7th.

The school hopes to serve grades 7-12 by August 2023.

The enrollment phases are designed to help maintain the school's standard.

"To have a curriculum that's established, that is unique and special. Have facilities that can support those young folks as they come in, that the families are going to be safe and the students are going to learn. That is our goal right now," Sullivan said.

Funding for the school will begin immediately.

The first step is creating a line item in the state budget for the school.

This will initially fund research, planning, and staffing.

The Alabama School of Cyber and Engineering will closely model the two existing magnet schools in the state: the Alabama School of Fine Arts in Birmingham and the Alabama School of Mathematics and Science in Mobile.

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