The KC Tech Council has pushed for computer science education reform in the past, but this year is different.
“We’ve never done a legislative trip like this,” said KC Tech Council President Ryan Weber. “We’ve engaged nearly all of the major tech employers in Kansas City. We’ve also got participants from Springfield and St. Louis, so this is truly a statewide effort for this kind of education reform.”
KC Tech Council, in partnership with Code.org, organized a trip to Jefferson City on Wednesday. The lobbying effort includes leading local employers such as Sprint, Cerner, Garmin International and Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technology LLC.
The group will meet with legislators to push for adoption of House Bill 1623 and Senate Bill 894. Both bills would change computer science from an elective course in Missouri to one that counts toward a math, science or foreign language credit for graduation. Computer science is an employable skill, Weber said, and one students must learn early in their education.
“It is a fundamental skill that students need to learn today to be employable tomorrow,” he said. “Policy changes like this are a step toward becoming that future state.”
Thirty-four states already allow computer science to count toward graduation, and 12 states have created K-12 computer science standards, he said.
Read more: Kansas City Business Journal