SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Legislation sponsored by Senator Patrick Diegnan to require school districts to offer course in computer science and Department of Education to adopt changes to NJ Student Learning Standards in computer science has been signed into law.

“To flourish in tomorrow’s digital economy and society, our children should be learning computer science,” said Senator Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “Computer Science education must become, along with digital literacy, an obligatory part of general education. The critical thinking skills needed to learn coding are necessary to the future economic health of our state.”

The bill provides that no later than the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year, each public school enrolling students in grades nine through 12 will offer a course in computer science. The course would include instruction in computational thinking, computer programming, the appropriate use of the Internet and development of Internet web pages, data security and the prevention of data breaches, ethical matters in computer science and the global impact of advancements in computer science. The bill also stipulates that beginning with the 2022-2023 grade nine class, the State Board of Education will require each student to complete a course in computer science as part of the high school graduation requirements.

The bill was approved in the Senate by a vote of 35-0. The Assembly approved it 66-1-2. The governor signed the bill on January 16, 2018.