Calls for Action - National Level

Write your legislatures

Legislators need to hear if something is important to you.  Please send both Senators and your Representative your thoughts on the Acts Below.  Feel free to copy/paste what we wrote, adjust it as you feel inclined, or write your own on the topic given.

World LEAP

To whom it may concern:

As a constituent in your district I am writing to inform you about a new piece of legislation looking for co-sponsors called the World Language Education Assistance Program (World LEAP): H.R. 5603.  

This legislation is aiming to allocate $15 million to the Department of Education in order to create competitive grants which schools across the country could apply for in order to improve their world language programs.  Currently there is funding available through the Department of Defense, but only DoD schools or those with J.ROTC programs would be eligible.  With this World LEAP legislation more schools across Indiana and the country as a whole would be eligible for these grants.  

The future economic well-being and safety of the United States will depend substantially on the ability of our workforce and military personnel to communicate proficiently and understand the languages and cultures of other countries.   K-16 world language and dual language programs are necessary to meet our nation's needs to compete globally and address issues of sustainable development both here and abroad.  These programs are essential to providing equitable educational opportunities for all learners.

Currently in the US, only 20.7% of US residents speak a language other than English at home, but 9 out of 10 US employers rely on employees with world language skills.  In a recent study by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages 1 in 3 foreign language-dependent employers reported a language skills gap and 1 in 4 employers lost business due to a lack of foreign language skills among their employees.  To combat these statistics it important to have strong world language programs within our K-16 schools.  However our nation's education system is suffering from severe shortages in world language, English Learner, and dual language immersion educators.  Creating a program within the Department of Education that focuses on World Language initiatives would greatly improve our nation's world language success.

Unfortunately, these programs are in danger and need help now.  This funding would ensure that 20% of this money is earmarked for Professional Development of teachers within the grantee district.  Preferences would go to programs that are working to both curb the teacher shortage and diversify the teacher workforce.  It would also support those programs that are working to expand their community engagement.  

JNCL-NCLIS has worked diligently with Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) to introduce this important piece of legislation to Congress, and we are proud of the work that has already gone into this important piece of legislation.    

For these reasons I urge you to support the World LEAP program (H.R.5603) and it's implementation at the DOE. 

Sincerely,

WLARA

To whom it may concern:

As your constituent,  I am writing to urge you to reauthorize funding for the World Language Advancement and Readiness Grants Program.

The future national security and economic well-being of the United States will depend substantially on the ability of our military and workforce to communicate proficiently and understand the languages and cultures of other countries.  According to a 2019 survey, the demand for foreign language skills among U.S. employers is outpacing the supply, especially among high-demand languages.  Unfortunately, the US lags in the percentage of its citizens who have knowledge of a second language as compared to other nations.  Currently, only 21% of America's high school students study a second language, leaving our military and intelligence communities with an inadequate pool of potential recruits for mission-critical language positions.  Multiple Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports cite the shortfalls of language and culture skills in the U.S. Military and intelligence communities, concluding that our nation's language and deficit could threaten our priorities and missions around the globe.

Further, the Commission on Language Learning  of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences released a report in February 2017, at Congress' request which notes that "by several measures, the United States has neglected languages in its educational curricula, its international strategies, and its domestic policies." The World Language Advancement and Readiness Grants program can begin to correct this problem.  Section § 1751 of the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) authorizes the creation of the World Language Advancement and Readiness program to support high-quality world language programming in our nation's elementary and secondary schools.

For these reasons, I respectfully urge inclusion of $15 million for the World Language Advancement and Readiness Grants program in the FY2024 Department of Defense Appropriations bill.  

Sincerely,

Budget cuts 

To whom it may concern:

As a constituent in your district, the budget cuts proposed by the House Republicans has me very concerned.  These proposed budget cuts will have a direct negative impact on teachers and students across the state.  Currently Indiana received $336,946,111 between Title I, Title II, and Title III funds.  Without these funds the most vulnerable students in our districts will be harmed.  

Therefore, I urge you to reconsider these drastic cuts to the budget for FY2024.

Sincerely,