The Florida House is considering allowing students to take a computer coding course to fulfill credit requirement in lieu of a foreign language. The Bill was amended before voted on.
The bill got unanimous approval in a House subcommittee after it was amended after the foreign language portion was taken out. It now focuses on encouraging students to take a coding class, and how to prepare them for jobs in the field. The Articulation Coordinating Committee would set the requirements for computer classes. The measure was proposed by Republican Representative Elizabeth Porter.
"...And, among other things, the ACC recommendations must also identify gaps in current policy curricular programs and practices that prevent students from pursuing post-secondary education and careers in computer science related fields," Porter said.
Jeremy Ladanowski has severe speech apraxia. After speaking, he had a translation on his phone that said his testimony again.
"My name is Jeremy Ladanowski. I have a speech disorder, and I know that some people think that I’m not good at anything in general because of my disability," Ladanowski said. "But I excel at math, science, and thinking outside of the box. I would like to go to college and study engineering or computer science. However, if I attempt to take Spanish, the school will not provide a speech therapist to assist, and my private therapy is maxed out with English."
Andrew Ladanowski spoke as well. Ladanowski says he’d rather his son Jeremy practice in something other than a foreign language.
"My son will never compete in that foreign language," Ladanowski said. "We have people that will never compete in that foreign language. And we really don’t teach foreign language. So to address the issue, my daughter, she took Spanish and she excelled in it. We were speaking Hungarian and Russian to her at home. These are some of the foreign languages that actually we critically need."
As of now, the Florida Department of Education requires students take two credits of a foreign language, excluding students with a native language other than English.
"So as someone who is concerned about these foreign languages, make sure that the kids who can excel in those foreign languages are given the opportunity to take 2 or 3 languages, and the kids that are not going to excel in those languages and not going to successful in those, can take a look at alternative paths," Ladanowski said.
The Bill was passed without debate, but still needs two more committees to pass the House floor.