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Tech is a Basic Skill

Florida Senate Approves Making Coding a Foreign Language

USA Today (03/01/16) Madison Iszler

Florida senators have approved a bill allowing high school students to take computer coding classes in place of foreign language requirements. The bill, introduced by Sen. Jeremy Ring, will take effect during the 2018-2019 school year. "It's ahead of its time, but in reality, it's in its time," Ring says. "If you don't have an understanding of technology, you will be left behind. It's a basic skill, as much as reading and writing."

The bill permits high schools to offer students the opportunity to take computer coding courses, and requires Florida College System institutions and state universities to accept two coding credits in place of the current two-credit foreign language requirement.

For those school districts that do not offer coding courses, students can take classes through Florida Virtual School, a state-funded online school. Ring notes the bill received a boost from technology companies and educational institutions, and he calls learning to code "the great educational equalizer." He says the legislation puts Florida out in front of what will soon become a national trend in education.

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