SACRAMENTO – Assemblywoman Bonilla’s AB 2329, which will help California attain the goal of having computer science curriculum in every school, was signed Tuesday by Governor Brown. This bill requires the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) to convene an advisory panel, which will develop recommendations and strategies for the implementation of computer science education for K-12 students, especially those in underrepresented communities.
“California has long been home to a rapidly-growing technology sector, but unfortunately we do not see the same growth in computer science courses and programs offered to our youth.” said Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla (D-Concord). “It is imperative that the education of all our K-12 students not only meets the demand for computing jobs, but more importantly, that students are being engaged at a young age.”
AB 2329, which aligns with President Obama’s White House initiative to expand computer science education, will ensure students are prepared for jobs in the computer science field by improving programs and coursework in schools across the state. There are currently over 85,000 computing jobs open in California, yet only one out of four K-12 schools teach any computer science. At the high school level, only 1% of students in the 20 largest school districts are enrolled in a computer science related course. The advisory panel, comprised of representatives from the California Department of Education, University of California, the private sector industry and a current K-12 teacher, will address this problem by providing strategies for a computer science implementation plan that the State Board of Education will adopt. The panel members will be representative of California’s diverse population and varying perspectives in the computer science discipline.
“By 2018, more than half of all science and technology jobs are projected to be in computer-science-related fields. Far less than half of high schools offer computer science, and in the schools that do, girls and students of color are woefully underrepresented,” said Andrea Deveau, Executive Director at TechNet, the co-sponsor of AB 2329. “With the signing of AB 2329, California has the opportunity to lead the nation in developing a comprehensive plan for computer science education, and ensure there is access for all.”
“With the Governor’s signature, California is taking a step toward expanding computer science education and taps into an industry of prosperity and upward social mobility where, for the first time, the state has a plan to ensure that students of all backgrounds can participate in a modern workforce where advanced computing skills are in high demand,” said Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom.
Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla (D-Concord) was elected in November 2010 and represents California’s 14th Assembly District, which includes Contra Costa County and Solano County.