Bilingual diploma bill advances

Public school students in Louisiana who show proficiency in a language other than English could be able to get a state “Seal of Biliteracy” on their diplomas, if the Senate agrees to a bill backed by the House in an 86-0 vote Thursday.

House Bill 1016 by state Rep. Vincent Pierre, D-Lafayette, would encourage local school districts to participate in the program, but wouldn’t require it.

Proficiency would be demonstrated if a student: passes an advanced placement exam or other world language test in a second language with a certain score, completes a certain number of high school language courses and achieves a 2.5 grade point average in those classes or passes a foreign government’s approved language examination.

HB1016 heads next to the state Senate for debate.