BECKLEY, W.Va. – Gov. Jim Justice held a ceremonial bill signing today for Senate Bill 267 at Cranberry-Prosperity Elementary School in Beckley. The new law makes West Virginia the first state in the nation to give all students access to computer science education before graduating high school.
“I’ve said all along that we need to make education our centerpiece here in West Virginia,” Justice said. “For a long time, our state was 50th in just about everything. That’s why I’m so proud that we’re the first state to make sure all of our students get a top-notch education in a subject as important as computer science. This will help us attract even more technology companies to our state and encourage our brightest young minds to build their careers right here at home.”
Signing SB 267 into law accomplishes one of the goals Justice highlighted during his 2019 State of the State address. In that speech, he called for West Virginia to become the first state to offer computer science education in every school within the state. The bill passed unanimously in the Legislature.
West Virginia Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Steven Paine, emphasized the importance of such training for students.
“I commend governor Justice for endorsing a bill to ensure all West Virginia students graduate with a knowledge of computer science,” Paine said. “We collectively recognize that computer science is fundamental for students’ success in future careers and receiving this instruction will assist them in the transition to industry credentialing and college degrees.”
The bill requires the State Board of Education to adopt a policy detailing the appropriate level of computer science instruction for students at each educational level. It also requires the Department of Education to develop and offer appropriate professional development opportunities to teachers providing computer science instruction.
Justice’s support for this bill follows his education agenda in the Mountain State since he took office.
Today’s ceremonial signing coincided with the state’s celebration of Digital Learning Day — a national event highlighting instructional technology and innovative teachers.
Justice presented a proclamation at the ceremony proclaiming today Digital Learning Day in West Virginia and classrooms across West Virginia participated in the annual celebration to illustrate best technology practices that enhance teaching and learning.
Students statewide participated in a creative and diverse range of activities that highlight various technology tools, applications and teaching approaches used throughout West Virginia classrooms and around the country.