Proposal would require high schools offer computer science


DOVER — Rep. Debra Heffernan announced Thursday she plans to pre-file legislation that would require all state high schools to offer computer science courses.

Rep. Heffernan, a Bellefonte Democrat, said she will introduce a bill mandating all public and charter high schools offer at least one computer science class by 2020. The class could be used to count for a math graduation credit, with the exception of algebra I and II or geometry.

The proposal would require schools to allow a student to substitute a math credit for a computer science class beginning in 2018.

“We are seeing more and more that computer skills are invaluable in today’s job market, and that demand is only going to grow in the future,” Rep. Heffernan said in a statement. “While we don’t want to place a bigger burden on our students and teachers to fit another requirement into the curriculum, we want to ensure that any high school student who wants to become more proficient at computer science has that opportunity.

Debra Heffernan

“By requiring public and charter high schools to offer computer science classes and having them fulfill graduation requirements in math, we will hopefully see more students taking advantage of these courses and being better prepared for jobs and projects that involve using computers.”

According to the Education Commission of the States, 20 states allow students to apply specified computer science courses toward completion of math, science or language.

Although the 149th General Assembly does not convene until Jan. 10, a pre-file is scheduled for Thursday.

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