In February 2023, the Data Science 4 Everyone team shared that groundbreaking bipartisan legislation had been introduced by Representatives Stevens (D-MI), Baird (R-IN), Beyer (D-VA), and Kim (R-CA). The Data Science and Literacy Act is a response to widespread need for data literacy and data science education across K-12 and higher education. It seeks to fund professional development, new curricula, and STEM equity programs amidst a backdrop of rising demand for data science-related careers. You can view a press release about the legislation by Rep. Kim here, and one by Rep. Stevens here.
If enacted, the Data Science and Literacy Act would award funding for data science education to K-12 schools and institutions of higher education. The bill has received support from nearly 20 education policy and data professional organizations, such as the American Statistical Association (ASA). Data Science 4 Everyone co-sponsored a Letter of Support for the legislation, which has so far garnered more than 140 individual signatures and over 40 organizational signatures.
However, the fight for data science and literacy education is far from over. In his article, Brandon Paykamian explores the positive impacts that the Data Science and Literacy Act would create. The legislation’s combination of professional development for data science instructors, robust curricula, and a focus on equity and support for marginalized groups of students will be essential to meet workforce demands both in data science specific careers, and across a wide range of other careers that demand data literate thinkers. Take a look at the article below for more background on the legislation and the long-lasting educational impacts that it would have.