TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today signed onto a multi-state agreement to expand computer science education in K-12 schools. The agreement, spearheaded by the National Governors Association, comes after Governor Kelly signed bipartisan House Bill 2466 in May to promote computer science education, provide training for current and aspiring computer science teachers, and create a pilot program to assist students in their 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,” Governor Laura 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, the Chair of the National Governors Association is tasked with developing an initiative that addresses critical issues affecting Americans in every state. This year, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson’s initiative focuses on increasing enrollment in computer science programs and aligning education with the needs of business and industry. Governor Kelly joins a bipartisan group of over 25 governors formally signing onto the Chair’s initiative. The text of the agreement will be unveiled at the National Governors Association meeting next week.
“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 compact spurs state-level action with the goal of increasing the number of high schools offering computer science courses, allocating state funding to K-12 computer science education, creating pathways to successful careers in computer sciences or related fields, and ensuring equitable access to computer science education for all students.
HB 2466 implements many of the goals of the compact. Among other things, it established a pilot program that covers credential exam costs and assists career and technical education students in their transition into the workforce. It also increases scholarships for educators in rural areas and underrepresented socioeconomic groups to obtain computer science education training.