Wanted to share a quick update with you from my friend, Katie Hendrickson, PhD, Director of State Government Affairs for Code.org. She is working with organizations in Missouri like MATA to promote legislation that supports computer science education in our K-12 schools. 

Here’s her update: 

1) Rep. Fitzwater filed HB 1623 to expand computer science opportunities. This bill has been referred to the Workforce Development Committee and we anticipate a hearing very soon — possibly this Wednesday. The bill would a) define computer science and develop academic performance standards for computer science, b) develop a teacher endorsement in computer science, c) allow a student to fulfill a math, science, or practical arts unit with computer science, and d) and would create a “Computer Science Education Fund” in the state treasury. We support this bill as we see it creating a system around computer science education and giving school districts guidance around implementation. Sen. Libla has filed the same language in SB 894.

2) Other bills related to computer science education: HB 1457 (Rep. Lauer) would require all high schools to offer computer programming. SB 571 was pre-filed by Sen. Silvey but as he has left office, the bill is essentially dead.

I would love to hear your feedback about HB 1623/SB 894. Please also considering submitting testimony in support of the legislation (let me know if you’d like me to share with you the date the bills will be heard in committee). You can also find Code.org’s fact sheet around computer science education in MO here and a 1-pager about our current effort in MO here.

Thank you — I look forward to seeing progress in MO around this important issue!

Several MATA members will be attending the Legislative Event tomorrow, January 17, 2018, at the capitol. This event, hosted by the KC Tech Council, will give those attending an opportunity to learn about the legislative process and speak to their respective legislators in a group environment about the importance of computer science education in the classroom. 

Please share your ideas on this important topic! We just ask that you be respectful and polite. Comment now!