33 States Expand Access to K-12 Computer Science Education in 2019
Interest in computer science education is increasing at a record pace. Since January 2019, 33 states have passed legislation and funded $40.1 million to expand access to and diversity in K-12 computer science. Teachers, parents, community leaders and policymakers from across the country are recognizing the importance of ensuring that every student has the opportunity to learn computer science.
These 33 states passed new laws or initiatives to support K-12 computer science (CS) since January of this year:
- Alabama adopted comprehensive CS legislation that would require every K-12 school to offer CS by the 2022–2023 school year. It provides $2.3 million in funding, including $900,000 for professional learning. The legislation also allows computer science to satisfy a secondary graduation requirement and a post-secondary admission requirement.
- Alaska will allow CS courses to count towards core graduation requirements and passed their K-12 CS state standards.
- Arizona passed a bill to allow more districts to be eligible for CS PD grants.
- Arkansas has appropriated $2.5 million in funding for the Computer Science Initiative.
- California has appropriated $1 million over four years for a computer science coordinator and $37.1 million to the Educator Workforce Investment Grant Program, establishing competitive grants for professional learning opportunities for teachers and paraprofessionals.
- Colorado has appropriated $1.25 million toward CS education programs.
- Connecticut passed a bill requiring all education programs to expose pre-service candidates to computer science; the bill will also require all high schools to offer computer science.
- Florida passed one of the largest investments for CS with $10 million going to fund teacher professional development as well as amended an existing law to now allow CS to satisfy a math or science credit for graduation purposes.
- Georgia enacted legislation requiring all high schools to offer computer science and included $750,000 in their budget for CS teacher professional development.
- Idaho allocated $1 million in funding for CS education.
- Indiana allocated $6 million in funding over the biennium for CS professional development.
- Kansas passed their Pre-K-12 CS state standards.
- Kentucky adopted their first-ever K-12 CS state standards.
- Maryland passed $1 million in funding for the Maryland Center for Computing Education.
- Michigan passed their K-12 CS state standards.
- Mississippi passed a state budget that included a $300,000 appropriation to Mississippi State University Center for Cyber Education for computer science professional development.
- Missouri passed their K-12 CS state standards and $450,000 in funding for CS education.
- Montana will allow CS courses to count towards core graduation requirements.
- Nevada has allocated $1.5 million to continue CS professional development and to provide funding for higher education and the Department of Education. All preservice teachers must be trained in Computer Science.
- New Mexico has allocated $400,000 for computer science professional development, $200,000 of this appropriation is ongoing.
- New York has allocated $6 million to continue the Smart Start CS program.
- New Jersey has allocated $2 million to CS education.
- North Dakota both adopted their K-12 CS and cybersecurity standards — the first cybersecurity standards in the country — and passed a bill that would allow for credentials for CS teachers.
- Oklahoma recommended funding for CS and encouraged all schools to offer CS.
- Pennsylvania announced over $15 million in grants for K-12 CS education — the largest investment to-date in K-12 CS in a single year by a state. The new budget continues the funding for the PAsmart initiative, including expanding CS classes and teacher training.
- South Carolina included $500,000 for CS professional development in their final budget.
- Tennessee is developing a CS education state plan.
- Texas passed legislation providing for weighted funding for CS in grades 7–12 — $18 million estimated over the biennium.
- Utah has funded $3 million for CS professional development grants.
- Virginia has established a CS micro-credential program and continued to fund $550,000 for CS professional development.
- Washington will require all high schools to offer CS and has provided $2 million in funding over the biennium for teacher professional development.
- West Virginia passed legislation creating a CS program at all instructional levels in every school, requiring the development of a CS education state plan, and established a grant program for CS professional development.
- Wyoming’s State Board of Education passed CS state standards, which will now ensure all students across the state are exposed to computer science education.
The momentum for expanding access to computer science education this legislative session would not have been possible without the support of our partners at the local, state, and national level, and all of these individuals and organizations working together toward the vision of expanding access to computer science.
Since the Code.org Advocacy Coalition was founded in 2013, nearly all states have made policy changes to ensure that students have an opportunity to learn computer science. Members of the coalition include Amazon, College Board, Computer Science Teachers Association, ExcelinEd, and Microsoft.
“Microsoft is encouraged to see these advancements in access to computer science education — especially as almost all 50 states make computer science count as a core high school graduation requirement. We look forward to continuing to work with states to build upon these successes in the coming years. These policies will help ensure all students are ready for the career opportunities created by our digital economy,” said Fred Humphries, Corporate Vice President of U.S. Government Affairs at Microsoft
“States are recognizing that computer skills have become as fundamental to student success as reading, writing, and math. If we are not teaching our children computer science, we are not preparing them to participate in a world of rapidly changing technology and advancement,” said Patricia Levesque, CEO of ExcelinEd. “Policymakers across the nation are responding in unprecedented, bipartisan ways with new policies and meaningful investments in focused programs, teacher training, and classroom resources. We are thankful for the commitment of state leaders and look forward to providing continued support toward ensuring students are better prepared for success in the careers of tomorrow and beyond.”
“It’s about building core skills and a sense of agency for today’s world,” said Stefanie Sanford, Chief of Global Policy & External Relations for the College Board. “We need far more students, from a wide variety of backgrounds, ready to shape the future of technology instead of simply coping with it. The incredible growth of AP Computer Science Principles is helping widen the pipeline of talent in the tech sector, and our work to expand civics education alongside computer science will mean more students ready for the challenges of 21st-century citizenship. Mastering the two codes of technology and democracy is critical for the future of our country.”