With Missouri anticipating strong tech industry growth in coming years, state lawmakers have passed new funding to boost computer science education.
The approved state budget for 2020 includes a new appropriation of $450,000 to train Missouri educators to teach computer science courses. The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry advocated for the funding, noting that the Technology 2030 report recently released by the Missouri Chamber Foundation projects Missouri will soon be a top 10 state for technology industry growth.
“Technology and computer science are rapidly growing segments of Missouri’s economy. We know the jobs are coming. This funding will help ensure high quality computer science and coding instruction is available in Missouri classrooms. We have to do everything we can to train today’s students to be ready for the high-tech jobs that will be available once they graduate into the workforce,” said Daniel P. Mehan, president and CEO of the Missouri Chamber. “I would like to thank the Missouri General Assembly, House budget chairman Rep. Cody Smith and Senate budget chairman Sen. Dan Hegeman for making this a priority.”
The appropriation is another step forward on a multi-year advocacy effort by the Missouri Chamber to bolster the state’s tech workforce. This year’s appropriation was enabled by a law the Missouri Chamber supported during the state’s 2018 special legislative session. “Preparing the Workforce” is one of the key drivers of the Missouri Chamber’s 15-year strategic initiative, Missouri 2030.