December 6, 2017 Less than a minute read

Support grows for computer science legislation

As the nation marks national Computer Science Education Week, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry is advocating for new legislation to bolster computer science education in the state.

Today, computer science is a mainstream business skill. The Missouri Chamber’s recently-released 2018 Legislative Agenda calls for the Missouri General Assembly to ensure all students have access to computer science courses. Supportive lawmakers in the Missouri House and Senate are set to file bills to accomplish this, including legislation to:

  • Establish rigorous new computer science standards and curriculum guidelines.
  • Create a certification for computer science teachers.
  • Give high school students the freedom to take a computer science class instead of a math or science course.
  • Provide funding to train computer science teachers.

“Computer science has become a foundational skill in our economy and there’s every reason to believe computer science will be even more important in the future,” said Daniel P. Mehan, Missouri Chamber president and CEO. “The Missouri business community is strongly behind this effort. Fortunately, we are seeing bipartisan support for proposals that ensure Missouri schools are offering high quality computer science courses taught by knowledgeable educators.”

Preparing the Workforce graphic.In recent years dozens of states have enacted laws to encourage computer science education. Missouri is now in the minority of states that have not passed laws to boost computer science in the classroom. Quick action is needed as there are already more than 500,000 open jobs in computer science in the nation. These jobs are expected to grow at twice the rate of all other job openings.

In addition, expansion of computer science education is strongly supported by today’s parents as 90 percent say they want their child to study computer science. However, only 40 percent of schools currently teach programming.

Bolstering computer science in Missouri is one component of the Missouri Chamber’s education and workforce development agenda for the 2018 Legislative Session. The Missouri Chamber will also call for adequate funding of all educational levels, expanded business-education partnerships and broad-based reform.

These goals align with Missouri 2030, the Missouri Chamber’s statewide strategic plan for economic growth. Preparing the Workforce is one of four drivers of Missouri 2030. Learn more at mo2030.com.


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