The last 2018 legislative sessions are coming to a close. We’ll continue to share the latest state policy news here each week, but content might be lighter as lawmakers shift gears to election mode. According to Ballotpedia, 87 of the nation's 99 state legislative chambers will hold elections this year, and nearly 82% of all state legislative seats will be up for grabs.
Michigan is the only state currently in regular session. Puerto Rico is also in regular session. However, next year’s session are just around the corner, and activity for 2019 has already begun: Florida, Kentucky, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Utah, and Virginia are currently posting 2019 bill drafts, prefiles, and interim studies. The following states are currently holding 2019 interim committee hearings: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida (House), Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois (Senate), Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi (Senate), Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma (House), Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
California Adopts K-12 Computer Science Standards: Last week, the California State Board of Education approved computer science standards for K-12 students in the state. The optional standards, which were developed by educators, encourage critical thinking and deep understanding of core computer science concepts and practices. The state is also creating a strategic plan for expanding equitable access to computer science education, to be considered by the State Board in March 2019. [California Board of Education]
Lawmakers Discuss Changes to Michigan Virtual School and Virtual University: Michigan legislators are considering legislation to expand the scope of the state’s virtual school and virtual university. The bill would update the Virtual University’s goals to include creation of curricular offerings for middle schools (in addition to high schools) and requires that the University should be a hub for research, best practices and innovation for virtual education in the state. The bill would also require the Michigan Virtual School to explore opportunities to act as a broker for college-level equivalent courses (including Advanced Placement) and maintain an accreditation from a recognized national or international accreditation entity. The bill was introduced on September 5 and is pending in the House Education Reform Committee. [Michigan Legislature]
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