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Computer coding pitched to meet language requirements

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A House Republican on Tuesday filed legislation that would allow high school students to take computer-coding courses to satisfy two credits of foreign-language requirements.

Rep. Elizabeth Porter, R-Lake City, filed the legislation (HB 265), after Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, filed a Senate counterpart (SB 104) last month.

Porter chairs a House subcommittee that oversees post-secondary education.

The proposal would take effect in the 2019-2020 school year.

Similar legislation last year passed the Senate but wasn't taken up in the House.

Supporters say the proposal would help students prepare for a world in which computer skills are increasingly important.

But critics argue that it could undermine the value of traditional foreign-language courses.