LITTLE ROCK, AR (KAIT) - The state of Arkansas has experienced a large increase in the number of students taking computer science classes, the state’s governor said Wednesday.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who won a second term Tuesday against Democrat Jared Henderson and Libertarian Mark West, announced the numbers during a press conference at the state Capitol.
In a statement Wednesday, Hutchinson said 8,044 students in the state are enrolled in a computer science class – a 620% increase over the same time during the 2014-2015 school year.
The state also has 372 computer science teachers, up from 20 during the same period.
The computer science and computer coding issue has been a major focus of the Hutchinson administration and was a part of his 2014 campaign.
“This dramatic increase in enrollment confirms my confidence that Arkansans would embrace my initiative to promote computer science education. Students understand that a solid foundation in coding will lead to good paying jobs,” Hutchinson said in a statement Wednesday. “Since I took office in 2015, the initiative has moved Arkansas to the front of the pact nationally. We are strengthening our workforce, which sharpens our competitive edge in recruiting industry. As we successfully recruit new companies, we retain more of our homegrown talent.”