Committee Summary: House Education Policy Committee, Feb. 23

Reporting by Lolla Nur, Freelance Community Journalist and UpTake Fellow

The House Education Policy committee met on Feb. 23 at 1pm to discuss HF3243 (Rep. Davnie), HF550 (Rep. Jordan), and HF3434 (Rep. Frazier).

All three bills passed and were moved to the House Committee on Education Finance. 

HF3243 proposes a task force and assessment of what’s needed in Minnesota schools for computer science education, to enable better computer science programming and resources in schools. 

HF550 would provide climate justice education in schools. And HF3434 would ensure all students have access to ethnic studies classes in Minnesota.

The testifiers included: 

Amy Roberts with, Jeff Tollefson with MN Technology Association (MnTech), Marie Fargo of Climate Generation, Mouakong Vue (SPPS educator and member of MN Ethnic Studies Coalition), Chong Yang (SPPS educator) and Adosh Unni with the MN Department of Education. Many high school students also testified on the importance of climate change education and ethnic studies classes.

Some important statistics:

  • More than 1/3 of students in MN are BIPOC. This does not reflect in teacher and curriculum representation. 
  • MN averages over 14,000 open computing jobs with an average salary of $92,000. Minnesota has 91% of software jobs outside of Silicon Valley but only 24% of our high schools offer computer science. 
  • This puts MN last in the nation for computer science access.

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