Arkansas requires that all high schools offer classes in coding

The program debuts this year.

Mar 1, 2020, 7:30 am*

Tech

Patrick Howell O'Neill 

Patrick Howell O'Neill

Arkansas is the first state in America to make coding a required offering in high schools. The new program, which costs $5 million, requires all public and charter schools to offer computer programming classes, though it doesn’t require students to take them.

The new classes will launch in August with the new school year. This puts Arkansas ahead of all other states in pushing computer science to students. 

Republican governor Asa Hutchinson, who took office earlier this year, campaigned on computer education in 2014. He now says that the new program will give the state “a workforce that’s sure to attract businesses and jobs.”

When schools cannot teach the class in their own buildings, online courses will be offered to students.

“By passing this bill, Arkansas will become a national leader in computer-science education,” Hutchinson said in a press release.

One in 10 schools in the U.S. offer computer science classes at present, according to Education Week.

H/T Exile | Illustration by Max Fleishman

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*First Published: Mar 21, 2015, 2:47 pm