(SOUTH PLAINFIELD) - Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan placing a greater emphasis on the importance of computer science in high school education was given the go-ahead with a vote of 76-0 by the full Assembly last month and now heads to the Senate.

Under the bill (A-2597), school districts throughout New Jersey would be required to permit an Advanced Placement (AP) computer science course to satisfy a part of either the mathematics or science credit requirements for high school graduation beginning with the 2014-2015 grade nine classes.

"Without question, computer science is an integral part of the education curriculum these days," said Diegnan (D-Middlesex), Chair of the Assembly Education Committee. "A vast majority of higher paying jobs these days are in computer-related fields, underscoring the need for us to prioritize computer training in high school."

In order for the student to use the course to satisfy a part of the mathematics credit requirement, however, the student must be concurrently enrolled in or have successfully completed algebra I and geometry or the content equivalent.

For an AP computer science course to satisfy a part of the science credit requirement, the student must be concurrently enrolled in or have successfully completed five credits in laboratory biology or life science or the content equivalent and an additional laboratory or inquiry-based science course, which shall include chemistry, environmental science, or physics.