A proposed charter school in suburban Dallas will be among the few in Texas providing Arabic and French classes to elementary students.
Leaders of Manara Academy, scheduled to open in August in Coppell, say it's important to emphasize Arabic, especially when government officials are seeking Arabic speakers.
"There is a domestic demand for Arabic speakers, and there is a gap in Texas," said Ehap Sabri, president of the school's board. "We are providing an edge by teaching these two languages."
School organizers said there are limited ways to learn Arabic, while Spanish dual-language schools are much more common in Texas.
Leaders from the Islamic Center of Irving mosque promote the school and say it's open to everyone.
"We are not targeting a specific religion or a specific culture or background," said board member Michelle Alkhatib.