Policy

California Law Expands K–12 Computer Science Education

Earlier this week, the governor of California signed a bill into law that aligns with the White House’s Computer Science for All (CSforAll) initiative. Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 2329, initiating a three-year planning process to bring computer science curriculum to every grade in California’s public schools.

According to the bill, the state superintendent of public inspection must form a 23-member “computer science strategic implementation advisory panel” on or before Sept. 1 of next year. The advisory panel “will develop recommendations and strategies for the implementation of computer science education for K-12 students, especially those in underrepresented communities,” according to a news release.

“California has long been home to a rapidly-growing technology sector, but unfortunately we do not see the same growth in computer science courses and programs offered to our youth,” said Susan Bonilla, an assemblywoman who drafted the bill, in a statement. “It is imperative that the education of all our K–12 students not only meets the demand for computing jobs, but more importantly, that students are being engaged at a young age.”

In California, there are currently more than 86,000 open computing jobs, according to AB 2329, yet only one out of four K–12 schools teach computer science. Computational occupations account for “two-thirds of all projected new jobs in STEM fields, making computer science one of the most in-demand college degrees,” but California had only 3,525 computer science graduates in 2014, of which 15 percent were female graduates.

The new law seeks to drive job creation and innovation through California’s economy by providing access to computer science education early on. The law expands on President Obama’s CSforAll initiative to empower all K–12 students to learn computer science skills.  

To view the bill, visit the California Legislative Information site.

About the Author

Sri Ravipati is Web producer for THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at sravipati@1105media.com.

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