Bringing computer science into Missouri classrooms

JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri House has passed a bill to boost computer science education efforts across the state.

Senate Bills 894 and 921 by Sens. Doug Libla and John Rizzo will incentivize more Missouri high schoolers to take computer science courses by allowing those courses to count toward graduation as a math, science or elective requirement. The legislation also establishes rigorous new computer science standards and curriculum guidelines, creates a certification for computer science teachers, creates a fund to help train computer science teachers, and brings an online program to Missouri that showcases STEM careers to students.

This bipartisan legislation is an important step in strengthening the state’s workforce. Improving computer science education in the state was a top priority in the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s 2018 education and workforce development agenda. Workforce development is also a key focus of Missouri 2030, the Missouri Chamber’s strategic plan for economic growth.

“For our economy to thrive, Missouri needs to do a better job of preparing students for work in STEM. By giving high school students the opportunity to access high-quality computer science coursework and learn about available careers, we will go a long way toward addressing the need,” said Daniel P. Mehan, President and CEO of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The bill now heads back to the Missouri Senate. The Missouri Chamber is advocating for a swift final passage so the bill can be signed into law.

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