Parlez-vous français? Habla espanol?
The future of foreign language education in public schools could soon feature another option for students that include a lot of ones and zeros: computer programming.
New Mexico state Sen. Jacob Candelaria has proposed legislation that will allow students in public schools to take a computer programming course to fulfill their foreign language requirements.
“Districts could still teach Latin, French or Spanish, but it provides the incentive for them to incorporate (computer) coding into their curriculum without it being an unfunded mandate,” Candelaria told the Albuquerque Journal.
Candelaria is not alone is his support for the measures as other states are looking to create similar programs. Last week, Kentucky’s Senate Education Committee approved a measure to allow students to substitute computer programming for foreign language requirements.
On the national level, U.S. Rep. Tony Cardenas of California has introduced legislation in Congress that would provide incentives for school districts that teach computer programming.
The goal of these initiatives is, of course, to drive students toward computer science and the typically high-paying jobs found in that in that field.