HCS/SS/SCS/SBs 894 & 921 - This act modifies provisions relating to education curriculum involving science and technology.
CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION:
The act specifies that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall be responsible for the receipt and disbursement of funds from career and technical student organizations. (Section 161.106)
This provision is identical to HB 1348 (2018), and to provisions contained in the truly agreed SS/HCS/HB 1606 (2018) and the truly agreed CCS/HCS/SB 743 (2018).
The act allows a school district to rely on technical coursework and skills assessments developed for industry-recognized certificates and credentials when entering into partnerships with various entities to develop and implement pathways for students to utilize career and technical education programs.
This act requires the Career and Technical Education Advisory Council to annually review, update, approve, and recommend a list of industry certifications, state-issued professional licenses, and occupational competency assessments. A school district may use the list as a resource in establishing programs of study that meet their regional workforce needs.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall identify providers of courses that meet criteria as set forth in the act. The Department shall annually provide to the Council a list of such providers. The Council may recommend that the Department enter into agreements with such providers that will govern the conditions under which school districts and local educational agencies contract with course providers to design or deliver career and technical education programs.
The act modifies the composition of the Career and Technical Education Advisory Council by adding the Director of the Department of Economic Development, or his or her designee. (Sections 162.1115, 170.028, & 178.550)
These provisions are identical to SCS/HB 1660 (2018), the truly agreed SS/HB 1415 (2018), and similar to SB 696 (2018).
STEM CAREER AWARENESS PROGRAM:
Subject to appropriation, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) shall create the "STEM Career Awareness Program" to increase STEM career awareness among students in grades six through eight. The statewide program shall introduce students to a wide variety of STEM careers and technology through an online-based STEM curriculum. Before January 1, 2019, DESE shall solicit proposals and select a provider for the online program using specified criteria or choose a third-party nonprofit entity to implement the program, solicit proposals, and select a provider. The program shall be funded by the "STEM Career Awareness Program Fund" and shall be promoted beginning with the 2019-2020 school year. (Section 161.261)
These provisions are similar to provisions contained in HCS/HB 1623 (2018).
CAREER READINESS COURSE TASK FORCE:
This act establishes a Career Readiness Course Task Force to explore the possibility of a course for 8th and 9th grade students covering topics related to various career and educational opportunities. The Task Force shall be composed of members as set forth in the act and shall serve without compensation. The Task Force shall consider a course that contains certain components, as described in the act.
Before December 1, 2019, the Task Force shall present its findings and recommendations to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the Joint Committee on Education, and the State Board of Education. Upon presenting such findings and recommendations the Task Force shall dissolve. (Section 167.910)
This provision is identical to HCS/HB 1245 (2018), similar to SCS/SB 873 (2018), and similar to provisions contained in the truly agreed SS/HCS/HB 1606 (2018).
Additionally, the act requires that before July 1, 2019, DESE develop a high school graduation policy that allows a student to fulfill one unit of academic credit with a district-approved computer science course for any math, science, or practical arts unit required for high school graduation. The graduation policy shall require that all students have either taken all courses that require end-of-course exams or are on track to take all courses that require end-of-course exams under the Missouri School Improvement Program in order to receive credit toward high school graduation.
A school district shall communicate to students electing to use a computer science course for a mathematics unit that some institutions of higher education may require 4 units of math for college admission. The parent of each student who chooses to take a computer science course to fulfill a 4th unit of math shall sign and submit a document acknowledging that taking a computer science course to fulfill a 4th unit of math may have an adverse effect on college admission decisions.
DESE and the Coordinating Board for Higher Education shall cooperate in developing and implementing academic requirements for computer science courses offered in 9th-12th grade.
DESE shall convene a workgroup to develop and recommend academic performance standards relating to computer science for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. DESE shall develop written curriculum frameworks relating to computer science that may be used by school districts. These standards shall be adopted and implemented beginning in the 2019-2020 school year. DESE shall also develop a procedure by which any licensed teacher who demonstrates sufficient content knowledge of computer science shall receive a special endorsement on his or her license signifying this specialized knowledge.
This act creates the "Computer Science Fund" for the purpose of providing teacher professional development programs relating to computer science. The State Board shall award grants from the fund to eligible entities, as defined in the act, who have submitted an application to DESE, as specified in the act. (Section 170.018)
These provisions are similar to provisions contained in HCS/HB 1623 (2018), HB 2128 (2018), HB 2282 (2018), HB 2292 (2018), and SB 571 (2018).
STEM INITIATIVE: This act changes the law regarding the Missouri Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Initiative. Missouri taxpayers who hire a STEM student attending a Missouri college for an internship in the state, or a STEM graduate from a Missouri college for a full-time STEM position in the state, may apply to have up to $10,000 of state tax liability placed in the STEM Fund, subject to appropriation by the General Assembly and approval by the Department of Higher Education. The cumulative amount of taxes that may be transferred to the Fund is capped at an annual total of $200,000 in tax year 2019 and adjusted annually for inflation in each subsequent tax year. The act repeals provisions allowing endowed teaching professor programs and career enhancement programs to be included on the list of programs eligible for moneys from the STEM Fund. (Section 173.670)
These provisions are identical to provisions contained in SCS/HCS/HB 2255 (2018), similar to provisions contained in HB 1532 (2018), and SB 1056 (2018).