Governor adds computer science to Virginia SOLs

Governor Terry McAuliffe signs House Bill 831, incorporating computer science and computational thinking into the Standards of Learning, thereby making it A Legit Thing.

Photo by: pedrosimoes7

At 1:00 PM today, Governor Terry McAuliffe will sign House Bill 831 into law, officially adding computer science into the Virginia Standards of Learning.

HB 831 proposes amending Chapter 13.1 of Title 22.1 of the Code of Virginia1 to include computer science and computational thinking (including coding) in the set of skills considered consistent with a high-quality education.

Once Governor McAuliffe signs HB 831, that text, in part, will now read (emphasis mine)…

“The Standards of Learning shall include, but not be limited to, the basic skills of communication (listening, speaking, reading, and writing); computation and critical reasoning, including problem solving and decision making; proficiency in the use of computers and related technology; computer science and computational thinking, including computer coding; and the skills to manage personal finances and to make sound financial decisions.”


“Local school boards shall develop and implement a program of instruction for grades K through 12 that is aligned to the Standards of Learning and meets or exceeds the requirements of the Board of Education. The program of instruction shall emphasize reading, writing, speaking, mathematical concepts and computations, proficiency in the use of computers and related technology, computer science and computational thinking, including computer coding, and scientific concepts and processes; essential skills and concepts of citizenship, including knowledge of Virginia history and world and United States history, economics, government, foreign languages, international cultures, health and physical education, environmental issues, and geography necessary for responsible participation in American society and in the international community; fine arts, which may include, but need not be limited to, music and art, and practical arts; knowledge and skills needed to qualify for further education, gainful employment, or training in a career or technical field; and development of the ability to apply such skills and knowledge in preparation for eventual employment and lifelong learning and to achieve economic self-sufficiency.”

Chief patron Thomas A. Greason (Republican, House District 32)-along with co-patrons David B. Albo (Republican, House District 42); Patrick A. Hope (Democrat, House District 47); Scott W. Taylor (Republican, House District 85); and G. Manoli Loupassis (Republican, House District 68)-introduced HB 831 in January of this year. It passed in the Virginia House of Representatives and the Virginia Senate on March 2nd and got the official thumbs up from the Governor later that month.

The signing will take place at Franklin Military Academy in Richmond’s 7th District, right after remarks from the Governor concerning computer science investments in the budget and computer science efforts across the state. Governor McAuliffe will also participate in a computer science activity with Franklin Military Academy students.

  1. The text that brought us the Standards of Learning in the first place! Thanks…? 
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Valerie Catrow

Valerie Catrow is editor of RVAFamily, mother to a mop-topped first grader, and always really excited to go to bed.

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