Governor Hutchinson visited Region 8 schools to discuss computer science courses

Governor Hutchinson visited Region 8 schools to discuss computer science courses

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Changes are on the way to Arkansas schools.

Next year, all Arkansas high schools will begin offering computer science courses.

Governor Asa Hutchinson said the courses will be offered for free through a distance learning program with the Department of Education.

He's currently touring schools throughout the state to promote the coursework.

He stopped by Jonesboro High School Tuesday morning.

He said the jobs this curriculum will help prepare for are in high demand, with about 1 million openings expected through 2020.

"We want to teach the job skills that will actually lead to employment," Hutchinson said.

The governor said he would like to see 20% of students to have taken a computer programming course within the next 4 years, something JHS already has a head start on.

Andy Hostetler, a computer science teacher at JHS, was on the state committee that helped develop the curriculum.

They have already implanted the computer science courses at their school.

Governor Hutchinson also stopped by Paragould High School to talk students about their possible futures in the world of computer science.

After listening to the discussion, a number of students decided computer classes are something they want to look into.

"I think it's good; I'm considering taking it next year," freshman student Zachary Depew said. "I think a lot of other students should consider taking it too."

Around 600 students at PHS listened to the governor speak.

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