New Florida tech bill may boost local computer engineering talent

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Instead of perfecting how to roll your R’s in Spanish class, some high school students may start practicing how to program a robot to dance or build a flashy website — and it would all count toward the same credit.

A proposed Florida Senate bill would add computer coding as an alternative to the traditional foreign language credit — a clever move as computer coding is declared as a language among tech creators and could be an innovative plan to boost science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) interest among students.

Senate Bill 468, titled computer coding instruction, proposes that high schools must offer computer coding courses, requiring the commissioner of education to identify the computer coding courses that satisfy two credits of foreign language instruction under certain circumstances, and requiring that Florida College System institutions and state universities recognize the credits as foreign language credits.