June 29, 2017

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TechNet Applauds California Leaders for Legislation to Implement Computer Science Strategic Plan

Washington — TechNet, the national, bipartisan network of innovation economy CEOs and senior executives, today applauded California Governor Jerry Brown and state legislative leaders for approving a measure that implements the California Computer Science Strategic Initiative as part of the 2017-2018 budget process.  

This legislation – known as Assembly Bill 99 – provides the authorization and funding necessary for full implementation of the state’s comprehensive plan for computer science education. 

“Computer science is a fundamental skill in today’s technology-driven economy,” said Linda Moore, president and CEO of TechNet.  “By bringing computer science courses to schools across the state, California is taking an enormous step toward ensuring its next generation of students are prepared to succeed in the modern workforce.  TechNet applauds Governor Brown and state legislative leaders for being champions of computer science education and approving this critical legislation.” 

Assembly Bill 99 includes the amendments needed to fully implement Assembly Bill 2329, an initiative sponsored by TechNet and Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom that was approved by California in 2016 and established a diverse advisory panel to develop a statewide computer science strategic plan.  Last year’s landmark legislation, which was authored by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, ensured the computer science strategic plan considered the following issues:

  • Who can teach computer science and with what credentials;
  • How to increase the pool of teachers;
  • What computer science standards drive instruction; and
  • How to encourage students to take computer science classes.

Assembly Bill 2329 also provided for the engagement of multiple stakeholders, including parents, teachers, students, the tech industry, advocates, policymakers, and leaders from state and local government.

Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom said: “California has tens of thousands of open computing jobs, where salaries are significantly higher than the state average but our education system is not aligned to meet this workforce need.  Moreover, only a quarter of California’s high schools offer computer science, a disparity punctuated by striking racial and gender gaps.

"This budget begins to address this economic and equity imperative and I applaud Governor Brown for his willingness to keep this important work on track,” Newsom continued.  “We are taking a major step forward toward our goal of 'Computer Science for All', ensuring that students of all backgrounds will be exposed to computer science education, and equipped with the skills needed for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”

Andrea Deveau, TechNet’s vice president of state policy and politics, co-authored an op-ed in the Sacramento Bee on the importance of passing Assembly Bill 2329 with Julie Flapan, executive director of the Alliance for California Computing Education for Students and Schools.  Linda Moore published an op-ed in TechCrunch on the need for computer science education across the country.

The Importance of Computer Science By 2018, more than half of all science and technology jobs are projected to be in computer science-related fields.  Yet only one in four high schools offer computer science, and in many schools, girls and students of color are underrepresented. 

Across the country, there is a sense of urgency to expand computer science education.  Large urban school districts, including Chicago, New York, and Oakland, have unveiled ambitious plans to integrate computer science into K-12 education.  And, states, including Arkansas and Idaho, are allowing students to count computer science toward high school graduation requirements.

  

About TechNet
TechNet is the national, bipartisan network of technology CEOs and senior executives that promotes the growth of the innovation economy by advocating a targeted policy agenda at the federal and 50-state level.  TechNet’s diverse membership includes dynamic startups and the most iconic companies on the planet and represents more than 2.5 million employees in the fields of information technology, e-commerce, the sharing and gig economies, advanced energy, biotechnology, venture capital, and finance.  TechNet has offices in Washington, D.C., Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Sacramento, Austin, Boston, Seattle, Albany, and Tallahassee.

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