Students in North Carolina high schools and middle schools could take computer coding as a course elective under legislation approved by the state House of Representatives on Tuesday.
House Bill 534 Computer Coding Course Elective passed 120-0 and is sponsored by Rep. Jason Saine (R-Lincoln), Rep. Jeffrey Elmore (R-Wilkes), Rep. Evelyn Terry (D-Forsyth) and Rep. Ed Hanes (R-Forsyth).
The bill directs the State Board of Education “to identify and develop academically rigorous courses in computer programming” that would be offered as electives to middle and high school students across North Carolina.
“We must ensure today’s students are learning the skills they need to compete in the workforce of tomorrow,” said Rep. Jason Saine (R-Lincoln). “Technology is a fundamental basis of our economy and computer coding is an essential skill in a variety of job fields today and in the future.”
“An early foundation in computer coding will help set students up for a successful career in high paying occupations while fostering an interest in technology will allow students to express themselves in new ways.”
Computer coding is one of the most sought-after skills for candidates seeking high-paying jobs in manufacturing, healthcare, and finance, and has become a core qualification for students looking to increase their earning potential in a successful career.
“We need more computer programmers in North Carolina,” said House Speaker Tim Moore. “Learning to code in course electives lays the foundation for our students to qualify for industry-recognized credentials and excel in an economy driven by rapid advancements in technology.”