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Board votes to allow computer science to count as core math, science credit

Posted: Jun 8, 2021
Author: Ann Bush

Computer science can now be counted as a core math or science credit toward high school graduation. The Kansas State Board of Education voted to approve the recommendation Tuesday, June 8, during its monthly meeting in Topeka.

Before the decision, Kansas was one of only two states that counted computer science courses as an elective, but not as a core math, science or other core discipline credit. Now after the State Board’s vote, local school boards can substitute one unit of computer science for either one unit of science or math as long as the student meets the math and science concepts required in regulations and the school district allows it.

Kansas graduation requirements include a minimum of 21 units of credit, including four English language arts units; three history, government and social studies units; three math units; three science units; one physical education unit; one unit of fine arts; and six units of elective courses.

The State Board in February 2020 received five recommendations brought forth from the Computer Science Education Implementation Task Force. One of those recommendations included allowing computer science to be counted as a core math or science credit.

A group of people on the task force examined other states’ policies for examples and lessons and met with math and science consultants for input and guidance.

State Board of Education members learned more about the recommendation at the May board meeting and were scheduled to act on it during the June meeting.

The approval of the recommendation doesn’t change the minimum 21 credits required for graduation, and it doesn’t make computer science a required course for graduation.

The approval does, however, put an emphasis on the importance of computer science and increases the flexibility for students, counselors and administrators to count computer science as a core credit.

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