New Jersey Computer Science State Plan
The NJ Computer Science State plan was announced by Governor Murphy in November 2019. The State plan is a roadmap for providing equitable K-12 CS education to NJ students and outlines five key-priorities:
- Adopt Standards: Develop rigorous computer science standards in all grades that provide a framework for equitable access to a coherent, robust computer science program for all students in K-12.
- Implement Professional Learning: Develop and deliver flexible, accessible, and sustainable professional learning for educators and educator preparation providers.
- Strengthen the Teacher Pipeline: Establish initial licensure and endorsement pathways to increase the number of educators teaching computer science.
- Build Capacity, Partnerships, and Awareness: Engage with families, educators, higher education, school boards and other community stakeholders to leverage partnerships and promote the state plan.
- Establish a Data-Driven Decision-Making Approach: Establish metrics for each of the goals to evaluate progress and remaining gaps; ensure the data collected can serve as a basis for establishing the funding in each of the next two fiscal cycles.
All New Jersey High Schools Must offer a Computer Science Course
As per New Jersey state law, P.L. 2017, CHAPTER 303, starting with the 2018-2019 academic year, each public high schools must offer a course in Computer Science.
Computer Science Student Learning Standards
The New Jersey State Board of Education adopted the revised Computer Science Student Learning Standards (CS SLS) in June 2020. The 2020 CS SLS consist of five disciplinary concepts aligned with the national CSTA standards and the CS framework.
- All New Jersey K-8 students must meet or exceed the CS SLS starting in Fall 2022.
- Any Computer Science courses offered by New Jersey high schools must meet or exceed the CS SLS starting in the Fall 2022.
Funding for CS Education
Governor Murphy and the NJ legislature have allocated funding in support of K-12 Computer Science Education:
- CS Specialist position established at the Department of Education. The position has not been filled due to the COVID hiring freeze.
- $2 Million for CS included in each of the FY 2019 and FY 2020 state budget.
- $2 Million for CS was included in the FY 2021 budget but was not disbursed due to COVID. $800,000 for CS was included in truncated FY2021 Supplemental Budget.
- $2 Million for CS have been proposed in the FY 2022 budget.
CS Teacher Endorsement
A New Jersey state law, P.L 2018 Chapter 81 (C.18A:26-2.26), passed in June 2018, requires that a computer science teaching endorsement be added to New Jersey code. The endorsement would authorize the holder to teach computer science in all public schools, and would be required to teach computer science in grades 9 through 12 beginning at such time as the State board determines that there is a sufficient number of teachers holding the computer science education endorsement to make the requirement feasible.
The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) is in the process of identifying the requirements of the 9-12 grade CS endorsement.