May 23, 2024

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Kansas joins agreement to promote computer science, expand education

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Governor Laura Kelly has joined a multi-state agreement to promote computer science and expand education in the field.

On Thursday morning, July 7, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly says she signed onto a multi-state agreement that expands computer science education in K-12 schools. The agreement, led by the National Governors Association, follows her signature on bipartisan House Bill 2466 in May.

HB 2466 promotes computer science education, provides training for current and aspiring computer science education, provides training for current and aspiring computer science teachers, and creates a pilot program to help students transition to the workforce.

“Promoting K-12 computer science education is one more way my Administration is working to prepare our students for the future,” Gov. Kelly said. “Joining this compact, training our teachers, and expanding computer science courses will help keep Kansas competitive in attracting business and growing our economy.”

Each year, Kelly said the Chair of the National Governors Association is meant to develop an initiative that addresses crucial issues that affect every community. In 2022, she said Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s initiative highlights increasing enrollment in computer science programs and aligns education with the needs of business and industry.

Kelly noted that she joins a bipartisan group of more than 25 governors who formally signed onto the initiative. She said the text of the agreement will be announced at the National Governors Association during the week of July 11.

“One of the most impactful choices I’ve made during my time as Governor has been the decision to make K-12 computer science education a top priority for the state,” said Arkansas Governor and NGA Chair Asa Hutchinson. “Governor Kelly’s commitment to sign the Computer Science Education Compact will ensure that Kansas is actively preparing the next generation to enter a 21st Century workforce that is increasingly technology-based. I am pleased to have Kansas as a partner in this important mission.”

The Governor indicated that the compact spurs state-level action meant to increase the number of high schools that offer computer science courses, allocate state funds to K-12 computer science education, create pathways to successful careers in the field, and ensure equitable access to computer science education.

Kelly said HB 2466 implements many of the goals in the compact already. Among other things, she said the bill established a pilot program that covers credential exam costs and aids career and technical education students in their transition to the workforce. She also said it increases scholarships for educators in rural areas and underrepresented socioeconomic groups to get trained in computer science education.

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