Today’s Asbury Park Press has a rundown on Shore-area school districts, including Red Bank’s, that are considering Chinese as a language offering.

From the story:

Late last month, representatives from more than 50 schools, including five Shore area districts, attended a state Department of Education information session about adding Chinese to their world languages.

“It’s looking at the future andbetter preparing students for the world and their future professions,” said Laura C. Morana, Red Bank schools superintendent, who attended that March 21 workshop. “Now, 67 percent of our students speak Spanish. Why not give them the opportunity to become trilingual?”

Red Bank school officials have included funding for two teaching positions and materials to implement a new world language in the fall.

The story cites China’s emergence as a world economic power as a rationale for offering the classes, which the Press says are already available to 3,000 New Jersey students. Both the U.S. and Chinese governments are pushing for schools to teach the language, and the federal government’s national security language initiative offers funding, the Press says.

The Press says Red Bank’s Board of Education will discuss Chinese as the district’s next world language at its work session Tuesday. The meeting is at 7:30p in the Middle School cafeteria.

Board member Ben Forest said he shares Morana’s reasoning about adding Chinese.

“We’ll have a lot of dealings with China and understanding the language and culture is a good thing,” Forest said.

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