COLUMBUS—State Representatives Rick Carfagna (R-Genoa Township) and Mike Duffey (R-Worthington) announced that the Ohio House has passed legislation that would add computer science as an option in the state curriculum for high school. In collaboration with national and statewide computer science organizations and the support of a wide array of Ohio’s businesses, House Bill 170 will embolden the future workforce of the state.
House Bill 170 would require the State Board of Education to adopt academic content standards and model curriculum for computer science. Schools would not be mandated to adopt the standards. Under the bill, students may elect to take a computer science course in lieu of Algebra II, most science courses, and as an elective in high school.
“It’s important that we are preparing our students to enter a 21st century workforce, and HB 170 is a step toward that in the areas of science and technology,” said Rep. Carfagna. “If we can incorporate these classes early on and give students a pathway, we will be all the better as a state and nation.”
The bill also provides opportunities for teachers who currently hold a valid teaching license or an endorsement in computer technology to teach computer science courses. In addition, schools would be able to create a “Technology and Computer Science” matching fund to be used for professional development.
“One-size-fits-all is being replaced with customized education for students on different pathways,” said Rep. Duffey. “HB 170 will allow students to take more computer science classes and count them toward graduation requirements. This choice will be left to the student and the local school board. HB 170 will not force students to take this pathway, but it will free up Ohio’s graduation requirements to allow this pathway to occur.”
House Bill 170, a part of the Buckeye Pathway policy agenda, now awaits further deliberation in the Ohio Senate.