Arkansas Gov. Hutchinson Advances Computer Science Education Initiative with State Leaders, National Experts

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — National Governors Association Chairman Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson convened a meeting with Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, state education leaders, and other national experts to advance NGA’s Chair’s Initiative K-12 Computer Science Education.

“Education is a bipartisan issue and Governors are leading,” said Gov. Hutchinson during today’s meeting. “Strengthening K-12 computer science programs is a policy imperative for preparing our nation and children for the future. There are growing needs in programming, robotics, data science, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, and we must make sure our schools are preparing students for these in-demand jobs.” 

The Bentonville event focused on strategies that Governors can use to expand K-12 computer science education in their states.  During the event, Gov. Hutchinson and Gov. Lee engaged state education leaders from Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, and South Carolina to spotlight different state computer science education initiatives.  Both Governors also engaged in a conversation with students from Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Tennessee on their computer science education experiences.

The Bentonville event also featured representatives from several national organizations focused on computer science education including, CSforAll, Computer Science Teachers Association, Expanding Computing Education Pathways (ECEP) Alliance, Girls Who Code, and the National Computer Science Education Center.

At the 2022 NGA Winter Meeting, Gov. Hutchinson introduced strategies to help states expand computer science education. 

Gov. Hutchinson noted that investing in computer science education is critical for filling the more than 609,000 current open computing jobs nationwide.   The Governor also emphasized that computing skills and digital literacy are foundational skills that all students need to succeed in a 21st Century workforce.

Gov. Hutchinson will convene another discussion in Boston, Mass. in May, and at NGA’s Summer meeting in July 2022. NGA kicked off the Chair’s initiative in Denver in August 2021.