Louisiana will require computer science classes for high school graduation, beginning with students entering the ninth grade in the 2026-2027 school year. Gov. Jeff Landry (R) signed House Bill 264 into law on May 23, making Louisiana the 10th state to introduce a computer science graduation requirement.

Zoom out: In July 2023, Code.org launched a policy recommendation for states to require all students to take computer science to earn a high school diploma “to ensure all students genuinely have the opportunity to learn computer science.”

  • Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Tennessee have passed such a requirement.

Going deeper: South Carolina has had a computer science graduation requirement since 1997, but until 2018 the state allowed for courses such as keyboarding to meet that requirement. Starting in 2016, the state initiated a comprehensive overhaul to meet modern demands. This included developing K-8 computer science standards and revising high school requirements to ensure students have a robust computer science education. In 2018, South Carolina officially mandated a computer science graduation requirement, significantly boosting student participation.

  • South Carolina increased the percentage of high schools offering computer science from 43% in 2017-18 to 92% in 2020-21.

The big picture: Louisiana’s new law is part of a broader trend to enhance computer science education across the U.S., preparing students for a future increasingly dominated by technology.