April 6, 2017

Letter from Charleston Business and Education Leaders in support of the Computer Science Education Initiative

Charleston Digital Corridor

Dear South Carolina Senators:

As business leaders and educators in Charleston, SC, we are writing to urge your support for SC House Bill 3427 - SC Computer Science Education Initiative, which the SC House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly in support of March 21, 2017.

Once signed into law, House Bill 3427 will bring needed rigor and substance to the current Computer Science curriculum for K-12 in the state of SC, particularly by requiring a substantive computer science course to graduate. House Bill 3427 exposes all SC students to courses in programming, networking, and cybersecurity on the high school level - skills that prepare our graduates for the twenty-first century workforce. It also asks the state to appoint a single individual to take the helm of CS K-12 education in the state–a crucial next step in our estimation, given that while numerous educators are doing a remarkable job teaching and promoting computer science, too often efforts are not aligned.

In the Charleston area, our robust IT industry has grown to over 375 companies and represents approximately seven percent of the regional workforce with per-capita wages that are twice the state and regional averages. These are some of the highest paid jobs for our SC students, and yet it is projected that thousands of these employment opportunities will go unfilled or be outsourced. It is our desire that South Carolina students are prepared for these high paying jobs and ready to fill this gap.

Your support of House Bill 3427 will go a long way to ensure that SC high school graduates enter college and the workforce prepared for the challenges ahead and ready to lead South Carolina forward.

Sincerely,

Valerie Sessions, PhD  - Chair, Computer Science Department, Charleston Southern University *

Kirk King - President & CEO,  CSS  *                                                                            

 Peter Woodhull - President, Modus21 *

Mitchell Davis - Founder & Chief Business Officer Bibliolabs *

 Marc Murphy, CEO, Atlatl Software *

Sebastian van Delden, Chair, Computer Science Department, College of Charleston 

 Quinn Burke, Department of Education, College of Charleston

* Charleston Digital Corridor Foundation Boardmembers

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