Earlier this year, Gov. Mike Parson announced plans to call a special session of the Missouri General Assembly September that would address STEM education. Associated Industries of Missouri supported the resulting House Bill 3 and worked for its passage. The bill would implement an online system to educate students in grades 6-8 about STEM careers and would allow computer science to count as a credit toward graduation from high school, if supported by the local school board in that district.
On Tuesday, Governor Parson signed House Bill 3 into law. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is working with the Office of Administration on a proposal solicitation document for the online system.
There is still a need to secure funding and train teachers in the computer science field so they may properly teach computer science courses that will count toward graduation. The change in policy would be simple, it would only require an update in the graduation handbook.
“Associated Industries of Missouri is a proud supporter of House Bill 3 and we applaud the commitment of Governor Parson, Senator Doug Libla, and Rep. Travis Fitzwater to do what is necessary to educate our elementary and secondary students about careers in manufacturing and other STEM fields and to prepare Missouri students to enter the workforce of today and tomorrow by emphasizing computer science skills,” said Ray McCarty, president and CEO of Associated Industries of Missouri.