Introduction and Legislation
In March 2021, Governor Tate Reeves signed House Bill 633, the Mississippi Computer Science and Cyber Education Equality Act, requiring all public schools in Mississippi to offer computer science education by the 2024-2025 school year. The bill lays out a phased-in approach for the mandated implementation and came with $1 million in state funding for computer science education and was matched with an additional $1 million with private funding from C Spire.
Why is Computer Science Education important?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, “Employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 13% from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. These occupations are projected to add about 667,600 new jobs. Demand for these workers will stem from greater emphasis on cloud computing, the collection and storage of big data, and information security. The median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations was $91,250 in May 2020, which was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of $41,950.”1 There are currently 2,194 open computing jobs in Mississippi, with an average yearly income of $72,039.
Computer science and the technologies it enables rest at the heart of our economy and the way we live our lives. To be well-educated citizens in a computing-intensive world and to be prepared for careers in the 21st century, our students must have a clear understanding of the principles and practices of computer science. To achieve this preparation for our students, we must have a clearly articulated plan for building and growing computer science education that ensures relevant curricula and well-prepared teachers.
Strategic Vision and 10 Year Plan
By 2032, prepare all Mississippi students with the skills and knowledge to compete on the global stage of a technology-driven future by providing them engaging and equitable computer science experiences which will equip them to be both users and creators of computing technology by:
- Equipping preservice and in-service teachers with the knowledge and skills needed to deliver high-quality, inquiry-based computer science instruction
- Developing and maintaining engaging and equitable computer science curricula
- Maintaining computer science standards that are consistent with relevant educational and workforce demands
- Developing and maintaining industry partnerships to ensure computer science education meets industry needs
- Identifying, exploring, and preparing for future trends in technology
The MDE in conjunction with the Center for Cyber Education has developed a 10-year strategic plan to address and reach the above goals.
- Overview of the Mississippi Computer Science and Cyber Education Equality Act (updated June 2023)
- Elementary Computer Science FAQs (June 2022)
- Elementary Computer Science Resources
- Middle and High School Computer Science Curriculum
- Free Coding Programs and Activities: Code.org, Scratch, and Tynker