Arkansas panel recommends computer science requirement

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/STATON BREIDENTHAL --9/12/19-- Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks about computer science Thursday at Sylvan Hills Middle School as part of his Fall 2019 Computer Science Tour. This is the governor's ninth tour of Arkansas schools to promote computer science education and to encourage students to enroll in computer science and coding courses since taking office.

An Arkansas panel on Thursday recommended the state require a computer science credit in order to graduate high school.

The Arkansas Computer Science and Cybersecurity Task Force included the recommendation in a report it submitted to Gov. Asa Hutchinson on ways to expand computer science education. A 2015 measure Hutchinson signed into law requires every public high school to offer computer science.

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The task force's report on Thursday also recommended that every public high school have a computer science teacher.

Hutchinson said Arkansas will increase high-speed broadband capacity to its public schools, charter schools and education cooperatives to five times faster than current speeds, with the upgrade to be completed by July 2021. The governor also announced that T-Mobile will donate 100 gigabytes of data to eligible households and 18,000 internet access devices to Arkansas students.