The legislation’s sponsors tell you a lot about how serious Republicans and Democrats in the Capitol are about beefing up computer science education in public schools.
Introduced Monday, House Bill 1184 is sponsored by Senate President Kevin Grantham of Cañon City and House Speaker Crisanta Duran of Denver.
The bill requires the Department of Education to work with experts to create a resource bank of computer science materials and options on curriculum, as well as a grant program to help individual teachers with books, tuition and other training costs to hone their ability in the subject matter, according to the bill.
School districts also could get state aid for programs to train teachers already working in the district to teach computer science.
“This bill addresses a serious gap in our current education system,” Duran said. “Thousands of good-paying jobs in Colorado that require computer science skills are going unfilled because our students aren’t getting enough training in computer science and digital literacy. This bill seeks to address that problem.
Duran said the resource bank and programs will result in “teaching of cutting-edge computer science and digital literacy in our classrooms.”
“The bill also directs the Department of Education to expand the standards for information and communications technologies as they adapt standards for each subject area,” she said. “District participation will be voluntary, but we believe this is a jumping-off point to help connect our students to the good-paying jobs our emerging high-tech economy is producing right now.”
Legislative analysts have not yet released the “fiscal note” on the program’s cost.
The bill is assigned to the House Education Committee, but does not yet have a hearing date.