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Relating to the establishment of a grant program for promoting computer science certification and professional development in coding, technology applications, and computer science for public school teachers.
Estimated Two-year Net Impact to General Revenue Related Funds for HB3069, Committee Report 1st House, Substituted: a negative impact of ($1,796,934) through the biennium ending August 31, 2021.
The bill would make no appropriation but could provide the legal basis for an appropriation of funds to implement the provisions of the bill.
HB 3069 would create a grant program to incentivize teachers to obtain a computer science certification and continue professional development in coding, computational thinking, and computer science education. Grants would be provided to eligible providers that offer professional development for elementary school and middle school teachers to ensure teachers maintain a working knowledge of current computer industry standard tools and resources, and training for computer science certification for teachers in accordance with certification requirements adopted by the State Board for Educator Certification.
This bill would also cap the total amount of grants awarded under the program for a state fiscal biennium at $4 million.
Texas Action recommends opposing HB 3069 because it violates our principle of limited government. This grant program is a misuse of taxpayer dollars because it spends public funds for something outside the scope of a limited government, and teachers can already voluntarily take these professional development courses. It is not the business of the state to incentivize teachers and students to participate in a certain industry. Where there are ample job opportunities and a high median wage, as the background and purpose states, then market forces will naturally fill those voids without state interference and use of public funds.