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Legislature passes computer science bill

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On Sept. 14, lawmakers passed a bill to bolster computer science and STEM education in Missouri. The legislation is now set to become law with the governor’s signature.

House Bill 3 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. It will also create 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.

Improving the workforce is one of the four key drivers of the Missouri 2030 strategic plan. The Missouri 2030 Gallup survey found that only 15 percent of the state’s business leaders believe that high schools are preparing students for the workforce.

“Computer science is a mainstream skill that employers are looking for in today’s economy,” said Daniel P. Mehan, president and CEO of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “In Missouri alone, there are more than 10,000 open computing jobs available right now. This legislation will help more students access the knowledge and training they will need to succeed in those fields. We greatly appreciate the bipartisan effort the General Assembly made to pass this important bill and we urge the governor to sign it into law.”

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