Required computer science

Logan Kolas Aug 08, 2022

This letter to the editor was published in The Columbus Dispatch.

A recent Dispatch opinion piece (“Ohio cannot be ‘Silicon Heartland’ if students are left behind”) is correct — a talented workforce is necessary to realize Ohio’s ambitious goal of becoming the Silicon Heartland.

The first step is to equip Ohio high school students with the computer science skills they need to succeed in an increasingly digitalized world.

Unfortunately, computer science is a skill where Ohio lags its peers in nearly every relevant metric. That is why it is so encouraging to see Gov. Mike DeWine join America’s 49 other governors in signing the Compact To Expand K-12 Computer Science Education.

That is a good start, but Ohio lawmakers should go further and require all Ohio public school districts to offer at least one foundational computer science class. Those new classes will require more teachers, and lawmakers must also revisit and update restrictive qualification requirements that limit the number of skilled computer science teachers.

Ohio needs more workers with computer science skills to become the Silicon Heartland and compete economically. Creating that workforce starts in Ohio’s schools.

Logan Kolas, 
Economic Policy Analyst
The Buckeye Institute