The bill directs the department of education (department) to create a resource bank of materials pertaining to computer science programs, including model standards, samples of curricula, and materials for professional educator development. The department must work with experts in creating and compiling the information. The resource bank is to be available by July 1, 2017. Each school district, charter school, and board of cooperative services may choose whether to provide computer science courses and whether to use the materials in the resource bank. The resource bank may also identify existing resources and tools that provide opportunities for industry experts in computer science and technology to partner with a classroom teacher to co-teach computer science courses.
In addition, the bill creates a grant program in the department that awards grants to school districts or public school teachers in Colorado who wish to pursue additional education that will enable the teachers to teach computer science courses. The bill defines computer science education.
The teacher's employer on behalf of the teacher, or a school district may apply for a grant. The grant may be used for tuition, fees, training program costs, and books for postsecondary computer science course work that leads to mastery in a computer science content area, computer science training programs, computer science degrees, or industry-recognized certificates in computer science.
The department will administer the grant program pursuant to rules adopted by the state board relating to the application process, the amount and duration of the grants, and the uses of grant moneys.
The department will accept and review grant applications and make recommendations to the state board concerning the award of grants. In awarding grants, the state board may give priority to grants for teachers who meet certain qualifications specified in the bill.
If moneys are appropriated for the grant program, the state board shall award grants pursuant to the program rules.
The department shall report annually to the education committees of the general assembly concerning the implementation of the grant program.
The bill appropriates money to the department to implement the bill.
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)