Louisiana Considers Requiring Computer Science for Graduation

Computer science courses may become mandatory for Louisiana high school graduates from the 2027-28 school year onwards.

House Bill 264, crafted by Democratic Representative Jason Hughes from New Orleans, was unanimously approved by the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday. This legislation introduces computer science prerequisites for all pathways leading to a high school diploma in Louisiana public schools.

Computer science will also be a requisite for any distinction awarded through Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS). To qualify for TOPS Opportunity, Performance, and Honors accolades, students will need to complete one unit of computer science in their math or science curriculum, or opt for it as an alternative to a foreign language.

Under the TOPS Tech track, students can incorporate computer science as one of their math or science courses, or select it as an elective.

The implementation of computer science as a graduation requirement will commence partially in the 2027-28 academic year.

Regarding the graduating class of 2028 striving for TOPS Opportunity, Performance, and Honors distinctions, computer science will solely substitute the foreign language prerequisite. Students graduating in 2028 under the TOPS Tech pathway won’t be able to fulfill any existing criteria through computer science.

Two years ago, then-Senator Sharon Hewitt, R-Slidell, successfully pushed a bill enabling students to replace two credits of computer science for a foreign language in TOPS eligibility.

Representative Hughes’ bill is now progressing to the Senate floor.

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