RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Future North Carolina public high school students would have to pass a computer science class to graduate in legislation that a House committee approved Tuesday.
The mandate, which would take effect to those entering ninth grade in fall 2024, is designed to help more young people become suited for jobs in growing computer-related fields, said Rep. Erin Paré, a Wake County Republican and bill sponsor.
The proposal would keep the credits needed to graduate at 22. But the State Board of Education would be directed to reduce the number of necessary science credits from three to two.
The current science credits are in biology and one each in physical science and earth or environmental science. While the bill doesn’t state which one should be dropped, an earlier version filed would have eliminated the earth science class.
The House Education K-12 Committee defeated an amendment by Rep. Rosa Gill, a Wake County Democrat, that would have reduced the number of elective credits a student would have to take from six to five while retaining the current required science credits.
The bill was sent to another committee after a voice vote recommending the measure.
The measure states that students who enter a North Carolina public high school after 11th grade would be exempt from the requirement.
The State Board of Education also would be directed to add computer science to the standard course of study, and each public school unit would have to offer computer science courses for middle and high school students.