(1) For the purposes of this section, the term “computer science” means the study of computers and algorithmic processes, including their principles, hardware and software designs, applications, and their impact on society, and includes computer coding and computer programming.
(2)(a) Public schools shall provide students in grades K-12 opportunities for learning computer science, including, but not limited to, computer coding and computer programming. Such opportunities may include coding instruction in elementary school and middle school and instruction to develop students’ computer usage and digital literacy skills in middle school, and must include courses in computer science in middle school and high school, including earning-related industry certifications. Such courses must be integrated into each school district’s middle and high schools, including combination schools in which any of grades 6 through 12 are taught.
(b) Computer science courses must be identified in the Course Code Directory and published on the Department of Education’s website no later than July 1, 2018. Additional computer science courses may be subsequently identified and posted on the department’s website.
(3) The Florida Virtual School shall offer computer science courses identified in the Course Code Directory pursuant to paragraph (2)(b). If a school district does not offer an identified course, the district must provide students access to the course through the Florida Virtual School or through other means.
(4)(a) Subject to legislative appropriation, a school district or a consortium of school districts may apply to the department, in a format prescribed by the department, for funding to deliver or facilitate training for classroom teachers to earn an educator certificate in computer science pursuant to s. 1012.56 or an industry certification associated with a course identified in the Course Code Directory pursuant to paragraph (2)(b). Such funding shall only be used to provide training for classroom teachers and to pay fees for examinations that lead to a credential pursuant to this paragraph.
(b) Once the department has identified courses in the Course Code Directory pursuant to paragraph (2)(b), the department shall establish a deadline for submitting applications. The department shall award funding to school districts in a manner that allows for an equitable distribution of funding statewide based on student population.
(5) Elementary schools and middle schools may establish digital classrooms in which students are provided opportunities to improve digital literacy and competency; to learn digital skills, such as coding, multiple media presentation, and the manipulation of multiple digital graphic images; and to earn digital tool certificates and certifications pursuant to s. 1003.4203 and grade-appropriate, technology-related industry certifications. (6) High school students must be provided opportunities to take computer science courses to satisfy high school graduation requirements, including, but not limited to, the following:
(a) High school computer science courses of sufficient rigor, as identified by the commissioner, such that one credit in computer science and the earning of related industry certifications constitute the equivalent of up to one credit of the mathematics requirement, with the exception of Algebra I or higher-level mathematics, or up to one credit of the science requirement, with the exception of Biology I or higher-level science, for high school graduation. Computer science courses and technology-related industry certifications that are identified as eligible for meeting mathematics or science requirements for high school graduation shall be included in the Course Code Directory.
(b) High school computer technology courses in 3D rapid prototype printing of sufficient rigor, as identified by the commissioner, such that one or more credits in such courses and related industry certifications earned may satisfy up to two credits of mathematics required for high school graduation with the exception of Algebra I. Computer technology courses in 3D rapid prototype printing and related industry certifications that are identified as eligible for meeting mathematics requirements for high school graduation shall be included in the Course Code Directory.
(7) Subject to legislative appropriation, a classroom teacher who was evaluated as effective or highly effective pursuant to s. 1012.34 in the previous school year or who is newly hired by the district school board and has not been evaluated pursuant to s. 1012.34 must receive a bonus as follows: (a) If the classroom teacher holds an educator certificate in computer science pursuant to s. 1012.56 or if he or she has passed the computer science subject area examination and holds an adjunct certificate issued by a school district pursuant to s. 1012.57, he or she shall receive a bonus of $1,000 after each year the individual completes teaching a computer science course identified in the Course Code Directory pursuant to paragraph (2)(b) at a public middle, high, or combination school in the state, for up to 3 years.
(b) If the classroom teacher holds an industry certification associated with a course identified in the Course Code Directory pursuant to paragraph (2)(b), he or she shall receive a bonus of $500 after each year the individual completes teaching the identified course at a public middle, high, or combination school in the state, for up to 3 years.
A school district shall report a qualifying classroom teacher to the department by a date and in a format established by the department. An eligible classroom teacher shall receive his or her bonus upon completion of the school year in which he or she taught the course. A teacher may not receive more than one bonus per year under this subsection.
(8) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules to administer this section.