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Computer Coding Proposal Ready For Senate Vote

Feb 26, 2016

The Senate is poised to vote on a bill that would allow high-school students to take computer-coding courses to satisfy two credits of foreign-language requirements.

Senators, however, changed the bill (SB 468) on Tuesday to remove a proposed requirement that high schools would have to offer computer-coding courses. After an amendment, the bill now says schools "may" provide opportunities for students to take the courses.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jeremy Ring, D-Margate, has drawn debate throughout the legislative session, including Tuesday on the Senate floor. As an example, Sen. Dwight Bullard, D-Miami, said he was concerned some students might not have access to the courses because of antiquated technology.

But Ring said the bill would take effect with the 2018-19 school year, which would provide time. Also students would be able to take the courses through the Florida Virtual School, he said. The Senate could vote on the bill as early as Wednesday.

A House version (HB 887), filed by Rep. Janet Adkins, R-Fernandina Beach, is ready to go to the full House.