SACRAMENTO, Calif. and WASHINGTON, D.C. /California Newswire/ — Last week, key priorities in the High School CODES Act were signed into law. The effort, led by Reps. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) and Pete Olson (R-TX) and Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA), will help high schools throughout the country encourage computer coding education, establishing a pipeline between students and jobs that will strengthen America’s economy.

Tony Cardenas

The new law will expand the use of federal funds to support coding programs, and supports statewide efforts to encourage computer science and coding classes in schools nationwide.

Currently, there are more than 500,000 open computing jobs nationwide but less than 50,000 computer science students graduating into the workforce last year. By 2020, there will be an estimated 1.4 million computer programming jobs, with only 400,000 American computer science students to fill those jobs. Nine out of 10 schools in the United States do not even offer computer programming classes.

Rep. Tony Cárdenas: “We must invest in opportunities for young people so they can work in the growing technology industry. When we invest in our young people, America will continue to lead the global economy. The tech industry is creating new jobs daily, and as legislators, we need to make sure our schools get the funding they deserve to educate the future workforce of America.”

Computer programming jobs are growing at nearly twice the national average rate. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage in 2017 for computer programmers was $82,240, while the median annual wage for all workers was $37,690.

The new law will:
* Expand the use of federal dollars for efforts that develop and implement programs designed to increase opportunities for students to take rigorous courses in coding or computer science; and

* Support statewide efforts to increase access and implementation of coding and computer science courses in order to meet the needs of local labor markets.