Coding Bill Undergoes Transformation in Senate Committee - 1/17/18

Jan 17, 2018

Lawmakers' continuing effort to boost computer coding lessons in Florida has morphed into a broader focus on computer sciences, reports Jeffrey Solochek of The Tampa Bay Times.

"People from the industry came to use and said coding is really a subset of computer science," said Sen. Kathleen Passidomo, sponsor of this year's foray into the subject.

As a result, she amended SB 1056 to promote computer science courses and encourage teachers to become certified in the area, and not just in the niche coding field.

Jessica Hooper, government affairs director for Project Lead the Way, called the legislation critical to putting Florida students on a competitive path for the future.

"Florida needs digital developers … not solely digital consumers," Hooper said, encouraging support for the bill.

The measure, as amended, would require percentages of schools in each district to offer computer science courses. It would offer financial incentives for teachers to hold certification in the field.

It's a different approach than the past efforts that aimed to push computer coding lessons by allowing students to count them as foreign language courses.

The bill flew through committee without debate or opposition. Its next committee stop is PreK-12 Appropriations, which Passidomo chairs.



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