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The 2020-21 Budget: Governor’s Computer Science Proposals

The Legislative Analyst’s Office has just published the following post:

The 2020-21 Budget: Governor’s Computer Science Proposals

In this post, we evaluate the Governor’s three budget proposals to increase the capacity of school districts to teach computer science. First, the Governor’s budget provides $15 million one time (Proposition 98) in incentive grants for 10,000 teachers to pursue a supplementary authorization to teach computer science. To date, only 151 teachers have obtained this authorization. We find demand for these authorizations is likely limited due to challenges enrolling in the required courses and balancing coursework demands with other responsibilities. We recommend the Legislature approve a reduced amount of $5 million to fund a more reasonable goal of about 3,300 supplementary authorizations, with priority for school districts that currently lack access to computer science.

Secondly, the Governor’s budget provides $2.5 million one time (Proposition 98) for a new computer science resource lead within the statewide system of support. We believe identifying a resource lead for such a narrow, specific subject area which is not measured by the California School Dashboard does not fit well within the overall system of support. We recommend the Legislature reject this proposal.

Lastly, the Governor’s budget includes $1.3 million one time (non-Proposition 98) for a new Computer Science Project within the California Subject Matter Projects. Although we find that some teachers would benefit from additional computer science professional development, the proposed funding could be duplicative of professional development funding provided in 2019-20. We recommend the Legislature withhold action until the end of March, when it will likely have more information to coordinate statewide efforts to provide computer science professional development.

This post is available using the following link: https://lao.ca.gov/Publications/Report/4198

This article was released by the California Legislative Analyst’s Office.