CCBE launches project to increase access to computer science education
California employs the largest computing workforce in the United States, with over 640,210 employees earning an average salary of $116,820. Arkansas, on the other hand, has just 23,120 people employed in computing jobs, and in Little Rock they earn an average of $73,390.

Which state would you predict would be the leader in computer science education?

It turns out California is not even a close second to Arkansas. For example, in terms of the percent of schools that offer computer science (CS), California ranks 29th in the nation, and Arkansas ranks first. In terms of advancing computer science education policies, again Arkansas ranks as number one, while California is 25th in the nation.

In other words, we’re more or less average.

This data comes from, a national advocacy group that tracks the progress of CS implementation and policy, and reports the number of students enrolled in CS courses in each state, as well as nine key policy objectives, including state standards, an implementation plan, and leadership and graduation requirements.

Still, California is making some progress. K-12 Computer Science Standards were adopted in 2019, and CS courses can count as A-G requirements. California has 10 local chapters of the Computer Science Teachers Association and a robust schedule of professional development, including the Summer of CS and the California STEAM Symposium. And Gov. Gavin Newsom’s May 2021 budget revision allocates $15 million to teacher preparation, with a target of 6,000 teachers adding a supplementary authorization in computer science to their credential.

And now CCBE is taking action to help California become first in computer science education, thanks to a generous donation by Zoom CEO Eric Yuan, a keynote speaker at the 2020 CCBE Annual Conference. CCBE will create an online computer science toolkit, collect data about CS implementation progress, establish a CS helpdesk to support county administrators and board members with expert advice, and organize a CS track at September’s CCBE conference. Dr. Emily Thomforde, former computer science coordinator at San Mateo County Office of Education, will serve as the program advisor.

Board members can begin their quest to help increase access and equity in computer science education by reading the CSforCA Equity Guide, a wealth of research-based information and guidance from educators and administrators across California.

Second, contact the Computer Science Helpdesk at 408-823-9346 or to learn how your county can make progress toward equity in K-12 CS education.

And finally, attend the 2021 CCBE Conference in Monterey this September and take advantage of the dedicated CS track featuring the work counties are doing to implement equitable CS education in diverse communities.