A million reasons Arizona is behind CS education

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Late last week, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed a budget that follows through on his commitment to K-12 computer science education. The budget allocates $1 million for K-12 computer science professional learning*. The grant program will be focused on schools that do not currently have computer science. The governor had proposed $2.5 million in his original budget; this final amount represents a compromise reached with the legislature on funding across all education programs in the state.

“Arizona students are competing with students from across the country and across the globe for the jobs of the future — jobs that are increasingly powered by computer science skills.” said Governor Doug Ducey, “By expanding access to computer science education we’ll ensure that today’s graduates are equipped for the opportunities of tomorrow’s economy. And together, we will build a talent pipeline that will sustain our economic prosperity well into the future.”

Thank you to the coalition of organizations that advocated for this funding, including Microsoft, Arizona Technology Council, Excel in Ed Action, AZ Science Foundation, Grand Canyon University, and College Board. In particular, thanks to the CSforAZ coalition for its efforts on supporting this funding and working on policy issues to expand K-12 computer science across AZ on behalf of the CS community.

In addition to funding computer science, the state is also continuing to work on state standards for K-12 CS education. The workgroup anticipates this work will be finished by the Fall.

With the funding and standards work, two of Code.org’s primary recommendations for expanding access to K-12 CS will be in place. In the next year, we look forward to working together on the third major recommendation of having computer science in every school in the state.

Congrats to AZ for joining the growing list of states making K-12 CS a priority and thank you to Governor Ducey for being one of 17 members of the Governor’s Partnership for K-12 CS.

Cameron Wilson

President Code.org Advocacy Coalition

*(Funding is on page 32 of the budget, more detail on the program on page 26 of the education bill.)

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