(KFYI News) A couple of state lawmakers plan to introduce a bill in the next week or two that would allow school districts to substitute a computer coding course for a math class required to graduate high school.
Rep. Tom Forese, R-Chandler, and Assistant House Minority Leader Ruben Gallego, D-Phoenix say the intent of the proposed legislation is to make it “crystal clear” that computer science courses are to be encouraged, as well as to reduce barriers to high school students interested in computer science.
Forese said that, based on a study by Code.org, there will be 1.4 million computer science jobs by 2020, but only 400,000 computer science students. In 2013 all three Arizona Universities graduated only 300 computer science professionals, Forese added.
“All companies need computer science professionals, not just software companies,” Forese said. “From Arizona’s emerging bioscience industry to the mining industry that remains a vital component, computer science undergraduates are and will continue to be in high demand.”
“We must ensure Arizona students are prepared for an increasingly global economy,” Gallego said. “This legislation will help us accomplish that while providing support for industries that consistently create high-paying jobs.”