Governor Lamont Applauds Final Passage of Legislation Bringing Computer Science Into More Classrooms
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont is applauding the Connecticut House of Representatives for voting to give final approval to legislation that will expand the availability of computer science education in K-12 schools throughout the state. The bill, which was approved in the State Senate last week, next will be transmitted to the desk of the governor.
The legislation aims to increase access to computer science in our K-12 schools by improving opportunities for teacher training in computer science. It does so by requiring that teacher preparation programs in the state provide grade-level appropriate training in computer science. Advocates believe that Connecticut is the first state in the country to legislatively require this for teacher preparation programs. The bill also requires the state to prepare a certification and endorsement for computer science teachers, along with new alternative routes to certification, which will increase the number of teachers who would teach this critical subject. The legislation requires school counselors to consider computer science and STEM as part of a student’s success plan, which helps guide students’ academic and career choices. By doing so, the legislation aims to reduce the gender and racial gap in computer science and STEM by encouraging more female and minority students to study these fields in high school. This legislation is not a new mandate on school districts or towns, but rather helps schools and teachers teach computer science.
“Connecticut students have consistently ranked among the best educated and most talented in the nation, however there remain persistent gaps among genders and racial groups that we need to address when it comes to STEM and computer science education in our schools,” Governor Lamont said. “Nearly every time I speak with business executives, they tell me that one of the top necessities to build a successful company is the availability of a workforce that is trained in modern skills, particularly computational skills. Our state has been a leader in this area, but we can do better. It should not matter what neighborhood a child lives in, or their racial or socioeconomic status – we should be providing every student with the tools needed to obtain good paying, 21st century jobs. This legislation moves us one step forward, and I want to thank both chambers of the General Assembly, especially Education Committee co-chairs Senator McCrory and Representative Sanchez, for working with my administration so that this bill could be approved in the legislature and I can sign it into law.”
The legislation earned the support of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents; the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education; the Connecticut chapter of the Computer Science Teachers Association; advocacy groups including Code.org, ConnCAN, and the Connecticut Council for Education Reform; higher education institutions including UConn, the Connecticut State Universities, and the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges; the Connecticut Business and Industry Association; and major firms like AT&T, Microsoft, and IBM.
It is Senate Bill 957, An Act Concerning the Inclusion of Computer Science Instruction in the Public School Curriculum, Programs of Teacher Preparation and Alternate Route to Certification Programs and the Creation of an Adjunct Computer Science Instructor Permit and a Computer Science Endorsement.