Rep. Cárdenas Introduces Bipartisan, Bicameral Computer Science Bill
Today, U.S. Representative Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) and U.S. Representative Ryan Costello (R-PA) introduced the Computer Science Career Education Act. This bipartisan legislation would promote computer science education programs in an effort to prepare students for careers in computing and grow our nation’s skilled workforce. The Senate companion version of this legislation was introduced in March by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Roger Wicker (R-MS).
“Ensuring our kids are ready for the jobs of the future is crucial to their success and the success of the American economy,” said Congressman Cárdenas. “That’s why we must do a better job integrating computer sciences into our classrooms and coordinating with industry experts so that students are prepared to meet our dynamic industry demands. This legislation will help fill an urgent need in our schools and our economy. I look forward to working together with my colleagues to move this legislation forward.”
"Encouraging students to explore the education and career opportunities in the computer science field can help close the skills gap and prepare students for success," said Congressman Costello. "Southeastern Pennsylvania is home to both innovative students and employers who would benefit from this bill."
“In order for New York to keep our competiveness in the 21st century global economy and keep our skilled workforce in the region, we must prepare our students with the education they need for the jobs of the future,” said Senator Gillibrand. “That starts with getting more talented students from diverse backgrounds into the STEM pipeline and developing programs that will introduce students to the many career opportunities in computer science. This legislation would increase access and create new opportunities for students to experience the field of computer science.”
“In too many classrooms across America, our students do not have access to a computer science education,” said Senator Wicker. “The world is moving fast, and our states need to keep up with job growth in the technology industry. The long-term success of our economy and our national security depend on having a workforce that understands these ever-changing technologies. I believe this legislation can help us achieve that goal.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2024, 1 in every 2 STEM jobs will be in computing, and there will be 1.3 million job openings in computing occupations due to growth in the field. Currently, fewer than 50,000 students graduate with bachelor’s degrees in computer science each year, and most states do not offer computer science courses as part of their core curriculum in math and science. To address this issue, the Computer Science Career Education Act aims to create a pipeline of education and work-based opportunities in computer science that can open doors for students into careers in computer science fields. The legislation would create a grant program administered by the U.S. Department of Education for consortia of schools, non-profits, and employers to develop computer science career education programs that meet the market needs of employers and better integrate secondary and postsecondary education. A one-page summary of the legislation can be viewed here. Bill text can be viewed here.
This legislation has been endorsed by the Association of Career Technical Education (ACTE), Citizen Schools, Computer Science Teachers Association, Computing in the Core (Code.org), Teach for America, State University of New York (SUNY) system, New York University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Museum of Science Boston, and the National Center for Technological Literacy.