SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Legislation sponsored by Senator Patrick J. Diegnan Jr. designating a computer science education endorsement on teaching certificates has been signed into law by Governor Murphy.

“We need to ensure that those teaching computer science to our young people are the most qualified individuals.  These vital skills are an essential element of our future economy,” said Senator Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “This bill insures that our computer science instructors are qualified and recognized to teach these important courses to our students.”

The bill, S-1816, directs the State Board of Education to designate the endorsement on an instructor teaching endorsement certificate. The endorsement authorizes the holder to teach computer science in all public schools. It will be required to teach computer science in grades 7 through 12 after the state board determines that there are a sufficient number of teachers holding the endorsement to meet the needs of the state.

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“I appreciate the support Senator Diegnan has given to ensure all students in New Jersey have the opportunity to study Computer Science.” said Daryl Detrick of the Computer Science Teachers Association of NJ, “There are currently 25,000 open Computer Science jobs in New Jersey and over 550,000 in our country; the states with the best Computer Science education programs will attract these high paying jobs which can positively impact the lives of our students, particularly those in low-income situations.”

Under the bill, a candidate for the endorsement must hold a standard instructional certificate with at least one other endorsement. The candidate would then provide documentation of completion of coursework related to computer science. The State Board of Education would determine which courses apply and how many credit hours are required but could require no more than 15 credits.

The bill provides that a teacher who taught computer science within the three years prior to the effective date of this act shall be issued the endorsement if the teacher, through coursework and/or teaching experience, has met the knowledge and skill standards for the endorsement.

The bill was passed through the Senate by a vote of 39-0.Governor Murphy signed the bill on August 10, 2018