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State Senator

James Maroney

Representing Milford, Orange, West Haven and Woodbridge

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Maroney Champions Legislation Promoting Computer Science and Coding Curriculum in Public Schools

HARTFORD, CT – Yesterday, state Senator James Maroney (D-Milford) brought forth legislation to make computer science curriculum a requirement in the state’s public schools. Sen. Maroney led the debate of the bill on the senate floor. The legislation received overwhelming bipartisan support in the state Senate passing unanimously. The bill now heads to the state House of Representatives for further action.

“I am incredibly proud of this legislation and grateful for each of my colleagues that helped to make this possible,” said Sen. Maroney. “As our economy continues to evolve, we must ensure that students are properly prepared for careers in an ever-changing workforce, which is being led by advancements in Computer Science and coding. I have been working on this bill since last November, meeting with industry experts, education experts, and various other stakeholders to craft legislation that will move our state forward. In order to accomplish this, we also must provide our state’s teachers with the tools to educate their students on this curriculum. This legislation will help produce the workforce necessary to drive our economy forward.”

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 Computer Science Endorsement,” has the goal of every school in the state of Connecticut offering computer science education.

In addition to promoting computer science curriculum in our schools, SB 957 will also make the following changes to teacher preparation and certification laws relating to computer science:

  • Makes Connecticut the first state in the country to require that teacher preparation programs offer instruction in how to teach “programming and coding” to their existing computer and information technology skills curriculum
  • Requires the State Department of Education to create an endorsement and eventually a certification in teaching computer Science
  • Requires the Office of Higher Education (OHE), in collaboration and consultation with the State Department of Education (SDE), to develop an alternate route to certification (ARC) program for computer science teachers, which must include mentored apprenticeships and program admission criteria
  • Asks the DECD to help facilitate internships for college students with companies in our state
  • Asks DECD to perform an analysis of the workforce needs in our state, and work with the other relevant agencies to develop a plan to prepare our workforce
  • Includes discussion of STEM and Computer Coding jobs in student success plans.

SB 957 will go into effect on July 1, 2019. While in committee, TechNet Northeast, a bipartisan network of over 80 technology companies, submitted testimony in favor of this legislation. In their testimony they stated, “Computer science is a foundational skill for 21st century jobs and impacts almost every industry in the United States —manufacturing, financial services, cybersecurity, health care, law, construction, tech, and beyond. This legislation is an important step in ensuring our students are prepared to succeed in the digital age.”

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