Deal wants education policy to better emphasize computer programming

Gov. Nathan Deal wants the state Board of Education to better emphasize computer programming courses.

He unveiled a policy proposal on Monday that urges the board to allow computer programming courses to satisfy core requirements for receiving a high school diploma. The move would place the programming classes in the same category as math, science or foreign language programs.

The governor is also asking the Board of Regents to follow suit and accept these courses for admission.

Deal said more than half of the state’s projected job growth in science, technology, engineering and math fields will be in computing gigs.

“Students need to acquire the 21st century skills necessary to thrive in the modern workforce,” Deal said. “Computing is currently one of the fastest growing occupations in the country with average salaries nearly twice the national rate.”

The governor is locked in a re-election battle with Democrat Jason Carter, who argues that Deal’s administration has failed to focus on education. Deal has outlined few specifics about his second-term agenda, but as November nears he is beginning to hone his policies.