Chief Sponsor: Howard A. Stephenson

House Sponsor: Bradley G. Last


8     General Description:
9          This bill enacts provisions regarding computer science instruction in public schools.
10     Highlighted Provisions:
11          This bill:
12          ▸     defines terms;
13          ▸     creates the computer science initiative;
14          ▸     requires the STEM Action Center Board and the State Board of Education to
15     collaborate to develop and implement the initiative; and
16          ▸     requires the STEM Action Center Board to include information on the initiative in
17     the board's annual report to the Education Interim Committee.
18     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
19          This bill appropriates:
20          ▸     to the State Board of Education - State Office of Education - Initiative Programs, as
21     a one-time appropriation:
22               •     from the Education Fund, $400,000.
23     Other Special Clauses:
24          This bill provides a special effective date.
25     Utah Code Sections Affected:
26     ENACTS:
27          63N-12-213, Utah Code Annotated 1953

29     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:

30          Section 1. Section 63N-12-213 is enacted to read:
31          63N-12-213. Computer science initiative for public schools.
32          (1) As used in this section:
33          (a) "Computational thinking" means the set of problem-solving skills and techniques
34     that software engineers use to write programs that underlie computer applications, including
35     decomposition, pattern recognition, pattern generalization, and algorithm design.
36          (b) "Computer coding" means the process of writing script for a computer program or
37     mobile device.
38          (c) "Educator" means the same as that term is defined in Section 53A-6-103.
39          (d) "Endorsement" means a stipulation, authorized by the State Board of Education and
40     appended to a license, that specifies the areas of practice to which the license applies.
41          (e) (i) "Institution of higher education" means the same as that term is defined in
42     Section 53B-3-102.
43          (ii) "Institution of higher education" includes the Utah College of Applied Technology.
44          (f) "Employer" means a private employer, public employer, industry association, union,
45     or the military.
46          (g) "License" means the same as that term is defined in Section 53A-6-103.
47          (2) Subject to legislative appropriations, on behalf of the board, the staff of the board
48     and the staff of the State Board of Education shall collaborate to develop and implement a
49     computer science initiative for public schools by:
50          (a) creating an online repository that:
51          (i) is available for school districts and charter schools to use as a resource; and
52          (ii) includes high quality computer science instructional resources that are designed to
53     teach students in all grade levels:
54          (A) computational thinking skills; and
55          (B) computer coding skills;
56          (b) providing for professional development on teaching computer science by:
57          (i) including resources for educators related to teaching computational thinking and

58     computer coding in the STEM education high quality professional development application
59     described in Section 63N-12-210; and
60          (ii) providing statewide or regional professional development institutes; and
61          (c) awarding grants to a school district or charter school, on a competitive basis, that
62     may be used to provide incentives for an educator to earn a computer science endorsement.
63          (3) A school district or charter school may enter into an agreement with one or more of
64     the following entities to jointly apply for a grant under Subsection (2)(c):
65          (a) a school district;
66          (b) a charter school;
67          (c) an employer;
68          (d) an institution of higher education; or
69          (e) a non-profit organization.
70          (4) To apply for a grant described in Subsection (2)(c), a school district or charter
71     school shall submit a plan to the State Board of Education for the use of the grant, including a
72     statement of purpose that describes the methods the school district or charter school proposes
73     to use to incentivize an educator to earn a computer science endorsement.
74          (5) The board and the State Board of Education shall encourage schools to
75     independently pursue computer science and coding initiatives, subject to local school board or
76     charter school governing board approval, based on the unique needs of the school's students.
77          (6) The board shall include information on the status of the computer science initiative
78     in the annual report described in Section 63N-12-208.
79          Section 2. Appropriation.
80          Under the terms and conditions of Title 63J, Chapter 1, Budgetary Procedures Act, for
81     the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2016, and ending June 30, 2017, the following sums of money
82     are appropriated from resources not otherwise appropriated, or reduced from amounts
83     previously appropriated, out of the funds or amounts indicated. These sums of money are in
84     addition to amounts previously appropriated for fiscal year 2017.
85          To State Board of Education -- State Office of Education -- Initiative Programs

86               From Education Fund, one-time

87               Schedule of Programs:
88                    Computer Science Initiative               $400,000
89          The Legislature intends that the State Board of Education use:
90          (1) at least $390,000 of the appropriation provided in this section for grants described
91     in Subsection 63N-12-213(2)(c); and
92          (2) up to $10,000 of the appropriation provided in this section for administration of the
93     initiative described in Section 63N-12-213.
94          Section 3. Effective date.
95          If approved by two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, this bill takes effect
96     upon approval by the governor, or the day following the constitutional time limit of Utah
97     Constitution, Article VII, Section 8, without the governor's signature, or in the case of a veto,
98     the date of veto override.