Missouri passes bill (again!) to expand computer science across the state
This week, Governor Mike Parson gave computer science education policy a second chance by calling the legislature together for a special session to reconsider a bill he vetoed earlier this summer.
Earlier this year, the Missouri legislature passed a bill with broad, bipartisan support that would expand access to computer science education across the state. A few days later, Governor Mike Parson vetoed the bill due to an included provision in the Senate version that was narrowly tailored to benefit a particular STEM vendor.
After an edit to the STEM portion of the bill, once again, it passed with an overwhelmingly positive vote. This bill is crucial to students’ futures in Missouri and will put them on a pathway towards the fastest growing industries in the state.
We’re so glad that Gov. Parson recognized the importance of this issue for Missouri’s students and we look forward to his signing of the bill!
The bulk of the legislation didn’t change in the newly passed version. The legislation still calls on the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Coordinating Board for Higher Education to work together to develop standards for computer science education for students between kindergarten and 12th grade and develop academic requirements for computer science courses offered in 9th-12th grade. These standards will be in place for schools beginning in the 2019–2020 school year. The bill also creates a teacher certification in computer science and allows students to apply a computer science course toward a graduation requirement in mathematics, science, or practical arts.
This bill also creates an empty “Computer Science Fund” that will provide resources for professional development programs. So what comes next for Missouri’s legislature? Filling that fund! Let’s give more teachers the preparation they need to teach computer science.
Before this passed, Missouri did not have a single policy in place that would expand access to K-12 computer science. We’re so happy to see the state acknowledge computer science education as a priority for our students’ educations.
Way to go, Missouri!