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Diegnan & Ruiz Bill Designating ‘Computer Science Education Endorsement’ Signed into Law

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Patrick J. Diegnan Jr. and Senate Education Chair M. Teresa Ruiz that will designate a computer science education endorsement on an instructor’s teaching certificate was signed into law by Governor Murphy today.

“We need to ensure that those teaching computer science to our young people are the most qualified individuals for the job, as these vital skills will form the base of our future economy,” said Senator Diegnan (D-Middlesex).  “This ensures that our computer science instructors are rightly prepared and recognized to teach these important courses to our students.”

The law 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 once the state board determines that there are a sufficient number of teachers holding the endorsement to meet the needs of the state.

“This accreditation process will ensure that those entrusted with educating the future leaders of our state on the topic of computer science are qualified and prepared to do so,” said Senator Ruiz (D-Essex). “With the exponential growth of technology, having experts teaching our children these skills will ensure that when they grow up they are prepared for careers in the digital age.”

Under the law, a candidate for the endorsement will have to hold a standard instructional certificate with at least one other endorsement. The candidate will also have to provide documentation of completion of coursework related to computer science. The State Board of Education will determine which courses apply and how many credit hours are required but cannot require more than 15 credits.

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