With the new school year just around the corner, August marks a good time of the year to reflect upon some of the work the Ohio House has done regarding education. From increasing per-pupil funding and state foundation funding in Fiscal Year 2018 and 2019 in the state budget, we’ve been hard at work to make sure Ohio’s children are best set up for success.

But outside of the budget process, the House passed another important piece of legislation that will both give our high school students more course options and better prepare them for jobs in the field of technology. House Bill 170 would allow high schoolers to elect to take a computer science course instead of Algebra II, physical science courses like geology, or as an elective.

In doing so, the bill requires the State Board of Education to adopt academic content standards and curriculum for computer science. However, it is important to note that House Bill 170 maintains a commitment to local control by not mandating school districts to adopt the standards. The goal of the legislation is to better train our students for a 21st century workforce, a workforce in which careers in science and technology continue to dominate.

Further, the option to take a computer science course puts student one step closer towards achieving a degree in higher education in a similar field, preparing them for college-level courses and allowing them a quicker path towards a degree and ultimately, a fulfilling career. Technological advances are continuously ever-present in our lives, and at the state level, we must do what we can to encourage a workforce that is ready for the jobs of today and the jobs of the future.

House Bill 170 is good, common-sense legislation that does not force students to elect this educational pathway or require school districts to adopt the standards, but it opens up Ohio’s graduation requirements to allow these opportunities to occur. This bill will make great strides towards a skilled, future-focused workforce in Ohio.


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