STAND. COM. REP. NO. 13
RE: S.B. No. 242
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Education, to which was referred S.B. No. 242 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO EDUCATION,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Require public and charter schools to offer education in computer science; and
(2) Require annual reports from the Department of Education.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the State Public Charter School Commission, HawaiiKidsCAN, Code.org, Hawai‘i Society for Technology in Education, and sixteen individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Education.
Your Committee finds that the economic disruption caused by the global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has illustrated a need to diversify Hawaii's economy beyond tourism. The pandemic has also shown the importance of digital literacy, particularly as applied to distance learning, telehealth appointments, and working from home.
Your Committee further finds that the economic disruption has increased the focus on computer science education as a key driver of both economic growth and digital literacy. A computer science pipeline can help to diversify Hawaii's economy away from tourism and into cybersecurity, green energy, robotics, and other technology-based fields. This measure will require schools to offer education in computer science, which will provide students with a knowledge in technology so that they may capitalize on growing opportunities in the computer science industry in the future.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Specifying that the definition of "computer science" is to align with the national definition of "computer science" by Allen Tucker;
(2) Clarifying that the annual report shall be submitted by the Department of Education and broken down by complex areas; and
(3) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Education that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 242, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 242, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Education,
MICHELLE N. KIDANI, Chair