Hoping to free up more options for students when it comes to high school electives, the House Education Committee approved two bills in Lansing on Tuesday that would eliminate the foreign language requirement for graduation.
Currently, Farmington Public Schools requires two years of foreign language, which complies with the state requirement, and "with the hopes that our students will have a global perspective and competitive edge in the college admission process," said Naomi Khalil, director of instructional equity.
Students can sign up for classes in Spanish, Japanese, French, German and Arabic.
"I strongly believe that the elimination of the foreign language requirement is misguided and does not reflect well on how the state prepares its residents for the global marketplace in which we live," Khalil said.
By eliminating the two-year foreign language requirement, bill sponsors said, students not headed to college would have more vocational options in school. The Michigan Department of Education opposes the bill, according to the Detroit News.
Farmington Schools associate superintendent for instructional services and organizational leadership Dr. Michele Harmala said offering students the opportunity to explore foreign languages and other electives gives them opportunities to discover their strengths and interests. The district's foreign language courses also help prepare students for a world in which "the need to interact and communicate with people from all over the globe is becoming more and more important and necessary," she said.
House Bills 4465-4466 would also modify required credits in physical education, the arts, career and technical education, science and math, according to the Livingston Daily Press & Argus.
The bill awaits a full house vote.