Governor Hutchinson at his weekly media briefing touted his effort to expand computer science education in Arkansas public schools. In the 2014/2015 school year, when Hutchinson began pushing computer education, 1,100 students were enrolled in a computer class. This year, 12,550 are, a 20% increase over last year’s numbers and the largest one-year jump during Hutchinson’s tenure.
A new law, passed this year, will require all ninth grade students to enroll in a computer science class, which means that each high school will need at least one teacher certified in computer science education. Hutchinson said in 2014, the state had 20 certified teachers. Now, there are close to 600.
The breakdown of students enrolled in the classes is 70/30 boys/girls.
At the outset of the press conference, Hutchinson and Health Secretary Dr. Jose Romero received their flu vaccines. Both encouraged Arkansans to follow their example. Romero warned of the possibility of “twindemics” as we approach the winter. Hutchinson presented a slide that showed that, already this year, the percentage of state outpatient visits for flu-like symptoms outpaced the average from the end of May through September.
In the 2017/2018 flu season, 228 Arkansans died of flu, the most the state has recorded. Last year, with public health precautions in place because of the coronavirus, only 23 died.
COVID-19 CASE REPORT
Total cases: 510,908, up 502 from yesterday
Total active cases: 4,826, down 86
Total deaths: 8,306, up 14
Hospitalized: 380, down 15
On ventilators: 113, no change
Ever hospitalized: 27,461
Ever on ventilators: 2,893
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