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Governors, Private Sector, Education Leaders Advance Computer Science Education

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BOSTON –National Governors Association (NGA) Chairman Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson convened a meeting with Governors from five other states, private sector representatives, teachers and other experts to discuss bipartisan action to expand K-12 computer science education.

“Computer science education is critical to U.S. economic growth, competitiveness and security,” said Governor Hutchinson. “Governors from both parties are prioritizing computer science programs to teach students the skills they need to succeed both in school and in their future jobs.”

Computing and technology jobs are among the fastest-growing, best-paying in the economy, yet computer science is offered in only 51% of U.S. high schools. Through Governor Hutchinson’s 2021-2022 NGA Chairman’s Initiative: K-12 Computer Science Education, Governors from across the nation are collaborating to expand computer science education through dedicated funding, state plans and professional learning opportunities for teachers.

The following Governors attended the meeting:

  • New Jersey Governor NGA Vice Chairman Phil Murphy
  • Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker
  • New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu
  • North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper
  • Vermont Governor Phil Scott

Governors shared updates on their states’ successes in expanding computer science education and discussed strategies and best practices with industry partners and other stakeholders – including CSforAll, Code.org, Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), Expanding Computing Education Pathways (ECEP) Alliance and Girls Who Code.

In a panel discussion on establishing computing career pathways, Governors talked with representatives from Amazon and Google about their programs to train and inspire students and teachers to build digital literacy skills connected to job opportunities. Governors also engaged with teachers and program facilitators involved in Girls Who Code programs.

Seventeen bipartisan Governors and counting have signed on to the NGA Chairman’s Initiative for K-12 Computer Science Education compact – pledging to continue to expand access to computer science classes for students in their states and territories.

Under Governor Hutchinson’s leadership, Arkansas has become a national leader in K-12 computer science education. Since 2015, the number of computer science students in Arkansas has jumped from 1,110 to over 13,000 – a 770% increase – while also driving a 1300% increase in the number of girls and a 700% increase in the number of African-American students enrolled in computer science classes.

Governor Hutchinson will convene the final session of the yearlong initiative at NGA’s Summer Meeting in July 2022.

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