Gov. Mike Parson has signed a new law that will incentivize more Missouri high school students to take computer science courses by allowing those courses to count toward graduation as a math, science or elective requirement.
The law, which passed during a special session of the Missouri General Assembly, also creates a process to establish rigorous new computer science standards and curriculum guidelines, create a certification for computer science teachers, create a fund to help train computer science teachers, and bring an online program to Missouri that showcases STEM careers to students.
The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry was a leading proponent of the legislation, which was sponsored by Rep. Travis Fitzwater, a Republican from Holts Summit.
“We’d like to thank Gov. Mike Parson for signing this important legislation into law. Missouri employers are facing a substantial shortage of qualified STEM and computer science workers right now,” said Daniel P. Mehan, Missouri Chamber president and CEO. “By calling legislators back to Jefferson City for a special session and by signing this new law, Gov. Parson is making workforce a priority in our state. We greatly appreciate this effort to help equip more Missourians with valuable skills that today’s employers need.”