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Students could opt out of foreign language

Bill could allow students to take computer code instead of foreign language

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Students in Florida are required to take a foreign language in high school, but now the curriculum could be expanded to include speaking in computer code.

This is an idea being pitched in the Florida Legislature. The measure is Senate Bill 468 and if it's passed, students could opt out of learning another language humans speak and take one computers do.

State Sen. Jeremy Ring is a former Yahoo executive who thinks computer code is the language of the future and some people News4Jax talked to understand his reasoning.

"Technology is the great equalizer in education today. So I wanted to really make sure we're creating an environment where all students of all socioeconomic backgrounds can compete equally on a level playing field," Ring said

"I think computer code may be the way of the future I guess, but language is important," Steve Vighetti said.

The bill has been submitted in the Senate and it will likely be first discussed next week. But has a long way to go before being passed and some people aren't supporting it. News4Jax spoke with a lot of people who don't mind teaching code, but not at the expense of another language.

 "I don't agree with that. Not at all. Because, well, I'm not from Florida-- San Francisco and, you know what, it's been inbred in us and (we should) also learn foreign languages as well," said Taryn Esparza.

"It doesn't sound useful to me. So many speak Spanish and French here-- more important to learn that than the code language," Kelsey Moore said.

Ring said if the bill passes, it will take effect during the 2017-2018 school year.


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