LG Conditionally Vetoes Computer Science Legislation

Posted · Add Comment

Acting Governor Kim Guadagno conditionally vetoed legislation, S2032 /  A-3440 (Codey, Turner / Diegnan, Eustace), which would have required the State Board of Education to develop rigorous computer science curriculum guidelines and school districts to incorporate those guidelines in grades six through 12.

Under the bill, the State Board of Education was tasked with developing guidelines in computer science at the middle and high school levels and would require school districts to incorporate these guidelines into the existing Technology and Science Core Curriculum Content Standards in the school year following their development.  Specifically, the legislation called for the guidelines to:

  • Prepare students to understand the nature of computer science and its place in the modern world;
  • Foster an understanding that computer science interweaves concepts and skills;
  • Enable students to use computer science skills, primarily computational thinking, in their problem-solving activities in other subjects;
  • Complement information technology and Advanced Placement computer science curricula in school districts in which they are currently offered.

The bill was approved by the Senate with a vote of 35-1 and the Assembly with a vote of 73-2.  NJPSA successfully sought amendments to incorporate the guidelines within the technology and science standards, as appropriate (NJPSA testimony on S-2032).

CV: Review First

In her conditional veto (CV), Guadagno acknowledged the importance of computer science in “modern day industry and academia” but called for a review of the existing guidelines before considering whether there is actually a need for the guidelines to be updated.  In her CV statement, she ‘recommended that the bill be amended in order to direct the Department of Education to conduct a review of the current Core Curriculum Content Standards to ensure that those standards include appropriate and up-to-date requirements concerning computer science.”

The Legislature now has an opportunity to review the conditional veto and attempt to override the veto or acquiesce to the recommendations made.