It’s already a busy start to what will be a really busy year for state policies surrounding K-12 computer science (CS). This year, we predict that more than half the states will actively consider major CS policy changes.
Here’s what has already happened just in January of this year:
- Governors from Indiana, Michigan, New York, and South Carolina made K-12 computer science part of their respective “State of the State” addresses.
- Governors from Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, New York, and South Carolina proposed funding for K-12 computer science in their budgets totaling $37.5 million across these states.
- Legislative champions in Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Washington introduced robust CS policy reform bills supported by the Code.org Advocacy Coalition.
- New Jersey enacted legislation — carried over from last year — requiring all high schools teach CS and that the state’s K-12 computer science standards be updated.
These policy proposals typically focus on one or more of our nine ideas for K-12 CS policy reform.
And those are just actions by Governors or legislators.
Standards help define what our schools teach, and in 2013, just two states had K-12 CS standards. In January, both Delaware and Nevada approved new standards for K-12 CS education — bringing the total number of states that have CS standards to 14. And there are another ten states (Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, New Hampshire, and Oklahoma) working on standards right now. That’s incredible movement considering standards processes move very slowly.
More and more states are creating strategic plans to define how their CS initiatives will work. In December, Code.org and the State of Georgia hosted a state planning workshop with leaders from Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Montana, and North Dakota. Maine, Montana, and North Dakota are already implementing aspects of their state planning process. And just last week, Utah’s State Board of Education adopted a measure to start a strategic plan for their state.
While we can’t entirely predict which states will take action next, as we look forward, there’s momentum across a number of other states where we may see new action, including Alabama, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Pennsylvania.
Support for our community — and CS as a subject taught in K-12 — has never been higher. The number of courses offered continues to grow. The number of Governors from both parties, legislators, and state boards making real policy reforms to support the movement continues to grow. And all this is thanks to the teachers, administrators, parents, students, and a broad coalition of organizations who are supporting this movement.
Cameron Wilson, President, Code.org Advocacy Coalition