Bill mandating computer science education comes up short

Students studying on Computers
Photo Courtesy: Stanford Graduate School of Education

As Gov. Ron DeSantis aims to reform the state of Florida’s education system, this year’s legislative session is again awash with bills that want to deregulate and remake the state’s public school system. 

Senate Bill 1344, also known as Computer Science Education, proposed by Republican Senator Alexis Calatayud of Miami, would add computer science skills to the state’s academic standards for the 2025-2026 academic year. 

If enacted, this bill will require K-12 students in public and public charter schools to learn computer skills and would create an Artificial Intelligence Education Task Force within the state’s Department of Education. 

The task force, which would be established in October 2024, would determine the application of artificial intelligence in K-12 and higher education to develop policy recommendations for responsible and effective uses of artificial intelligence.


However, SB 1344 has languished in the Senate’s Fiscal Policy Committee since Feb. 8, and it stands little chance of moving to the floor for a vote before the session ends on Friday. 

If SB 1344 had been approved, students and educators would have had the opportunity to work with artificial intelligence software to create a positive relationship between internet software. The classes will allow students to meet their math requirements for graduation.


Brandi Gritman, a computer science teacher and CTE coordinator at H.L. Watkins Middle in Palm Beach Gardens, likes the idea of incorporating computer science classes along with AI into the school curriculum. 

“I am currently using AI software in the classroom to help students with completing their homework, and even offering tutoring services while away from school,” Gritman said. 

“Incorporating these classes will level the playing field when it comes to the disconnect between teachers and students who do not understand how to use computer software along with AI tools. If students are being taught how to properly use the software, this will be an amazing tool to help them throughout their educational journey.”

According to 60% of educators use AI in their classroom. In a survey conducted by the company, younger teachers are more likely to adopt these tools with respondents under 26 reporting the highest usage rates. 

Veneise Harrell, assistant principal at Riviera Beach Preparatory and Achievement Academy, disagrees with the incorporation of SB 1344. 

“I believe that teachers should first receive training on AI software before introducing this to our students,” Harrell said.

Harrell shared her concerns of using this to satisfy the math requirement for schools. 

“Students already have a lot of requirements, so incorporating this into the curriculum could possibly cause more stress for students.”

In addition, Harrell also sees the benefits of SB 1344, saying that these required courses will help with the safety of students on the internet. 

“I think computer science courses along with AI task forces will better equip students for cyber security purposes,” Harrell said. “Courses like these will gives students the keys to remain safe online as technology is becoming more and more advanced every day.”

For more information and updates on SB 1344, visit the Florida Senate page.