theodp writes: The WSJ's Yoree Koh reports that computer science has been recognized as important an academic subject as math and English in the new Every Student Succeeds Act, putting it on equal footing with other subjects when state and local policymakers decide how to dole out federal funds. The law is likely to be a boon for tech companies, Koh adds, which constantly face a shortage of engineers to hire, and have backed Code.org to lobby for computer science teaching in schools. "This legislation will increase access to STEM and computer science learning nationwide and will advance some of the goals outlined in Microsoft's National Talent Strategy," said Microsoft in a blog post. "ESSA makes a number of significant improvements to expand access to computer science education by diverse populations in urban, suburban, and rural areas," explained the ACM. As far as CS and STEM goes, the bill calls for "increasing access for students through grade 12 who are members of groups underrepresented in such subject fields, such as female students, minority students, English learners, children with disabilities, and economically disadvantaged students."