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m3553 BC-MN-AroundMinn-Chines 02-16 0168 routed by tamara

Mankato schools may offer Chinese this fall

MANKATO, Minn. (AP) — Mankato Area Public Schools expect to offer Mandarin Chinese to high school students this fall.

The program is part of an effort to give students skills for careers in international business and foreign relations.

Up to 25 students can register for the pilot course which will meet before school. At least 15 students must enroll to prevent the program from being canceled.

The school board is scheduled to vote on the program Tuesday.

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The district hopes to use state grants to pay for the program, which will cost about $12,000 to $15,000 next year, said Superintendent Ed Waltman.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty has proposed setting aside $500,000 in his 2008-09 budget to expand Mandarin Chinese language programs across the state.

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Information from: The Free Press, http://www.mankatofreepress.com

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