HB 3 - This act modifies provisions relating to science education.
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. By January 1, 2019, DESE shall solicit proposals for the online program. By March 1, 2019, DESE shall select a provider for the online program. DESE may 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". (Section 161.261)
These provisions are identical to provisions contained in SB 1 (1st extraordinary session 2018) and similar to provisions contained in HCS/HB 1623 (2018) and HCS/SS/SCS/SBs 894 & 921 (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 for math and science or are on track to take all courses that require end-of-course exams for math and science 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 academic credit in math for college admission. The parent, guardian, or legal custodian of each student who chooses to take a computer science course to fulfill a unit of academic credit in math shall sign and submit a document acknowledging that taking a computer science course to fulfill a unit of academic credit in math may have an adverse effect on college admission decisions.
DESE and the Department of 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 of Education 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 identical to provisions contained in SB 1 (1st extraordinary session 2018) and similar to provisions contained in HCS/HB 1623 (2018), HCS/SS/SCS/SBs 894 & 921 (2018), HB 2128 (2018), HB 2282 (2018), HB 2292 (2018), and SB 571 (2018).