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Silicon Valley lawmaker calls for computer science courses in all California high schools

Source: CBS News

SACRAMENTO – A lawmaker from Silicon Valley has introduced a proposal that would ensure all public high schools in California offer computer science courses, in an attempt to close the digital divide.

Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Menlo Park) introduced Assembly Bill 1054, which would ensure that all of the state's public high school students have access to computer science education. If approved, California would join 27 other states that already require high schools offer the courses.

"People move here from all across the globe with bold ideas and big dreams of changing the world," Berman said in a statement. "But the reality is that far too many California students grow up in the shadows of these tech companies, yet go to schools that don't even offer them the opportunity to learn the skills they need to one day work there."

According to Berman's office, while more than 75% of high school students in the state attend a school that offers computer science, disparities continue to persist. Schools that are less likely to offer the courses are largely in rural areas, urban areas and in schools with high percentages of economically-disadvantaged students.

"This is indefensible," said Berman, whose district covers major Silicon Valley communities such as Mountain View and Palo Alto.

The assemblymember said AB1054 would help train the state's future workforce and help California remain competitive with other states and nations.

It was not immediately known when AB1054 would face its first hearing in the legislature.