Asa Hutchinson in Foreman, Ark.

FOREMAN, Ark. - Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson made a stop Wednesday at Foreman High School to inspire students to learn how to code.

Hutchinson has toured 70 high schools across the state since 2015 to encourage students to enroll in coding and computer science courses.

The governor toured Foreman's computer lab and visited with students.

The school's coding classes are in the beginning stages with 10 students enrolled.  

Hutchinson said Arkansas is leading the nation in computer science education.

Schools are mandated to offer computer science, but students are not required to take it.

Hutchinson said the computer science courses, especially in coding, can open doors for students they didn't even know existed.

"We've grown from over 1,000 students taking computer science to more than 8,000. Hopefully, that will increase even more," Hutchinson said. "We recently had over 30 states come to Arkansas just to see what we're doing,"

Since taking office in 2015, Hutchinson has made computer science curriculum a top education priority. He plans to visit four more schools this month.

According to coding.org, there are more than 2,300 unfilled jobs in Arkansas that require coding skills. The jobs pay an average of $72,000.

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