On March 23, Idaho Governor Butch Otter signed a bill into law requiring all high schools to offer at least one computer science course. The Idaho legislature unanimously passed this bill the week prior.
This is a big step for a state that has already made great strides in computer science education, including investing $4M in a computer science education initiative over the past two years. This funding has been crucial to preparing teachers and providing resources to schools. And in 2017, the state launched newly developed K-12 computer science content standards based on the K-12 Computer Science Framework.The STEM Action Center has led the initiative to increase the number of students prepared for STEM degree programs and increase access to computer science education from kindergarten to career.
HB 648 requires each high school to make at least one computer science available to students by fiscal year 2020. The courses must be aligned with the Idaho computer science standards.
Governor Butch Otter, a member of the Governors for Computer Science partnership, said, “I was pleased to sign HB 648 into law this morning, ensuring that all Idaho high school students have the chance to take a computer science course. Thanks to the Legislature and our business and industry partners for helping to prepare Idaho students for the careers of today and tomorrow.”