SEATTLE SB 5299, passed by the Senate and sponsored by Sen. Lisa Wellman (D-Mercer Island), allows high school students to take a computer science elective in place of a third year math or science course to count towards graduation requirements.

“There are many students who will benefit by having an introduction to computer technology,” Wellman said. “There may be students for whom a computer science course sparks a new passion or career goal. Even if students don’t pursue a career in technology, taking this course will provide them with digital literacy skills. This bill would be one more tool in the toolkit to help students on their path to graduation and build upon the continued progress of computer science education in the state.”

High school students are required to have a High School and Beyond Plan (HSBP), which is started in the seventh or eighth grades. All HSBPs must include career and educational goals, dual credit opportunities, and a course planning for four years. The bill also requires that a computer science course substituted by a student must be aligned with the student’s HSBP.

The bill passed unanimously by the Senate and will now be considered by the House.