Calls to Action

Write your legislatures

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


State level initiatives

For information on the new High School Diploma Redesign 

Next State Board of Education Meeting will be June 5th at 9:00 in Indianapolis.  For public comment you need to get there by 8:00-8:15 to fill out the public comment forms

IFLTA Asks for the High School Redesign

High School Redesign Jotform

Fill out the Jotform on this topic from the IDOE:  

The current proposals focusing on "enrollment, employment, and enlistment" all should have a World Language requirement attached to them.  Most colleges and universities across the state require four or more credits of language study to be accepted at their institutions.  9 out of 10 American employers rely on their employees to have language skills beyond English.  Locally, Indiana's economy, which depends on foreign investment and international trade, is dependent on a multilingual workforce.  The Department of Defense spends $15 million per year in federal grants to improve and create language programs vital to our national security through the WLARA Act.  The fact that the current proposals for the High School Redesign do not include World Languages in the communications section of the fundamental requirements is creating a disservice to our students, and not preparing them for the global world that they are living in.  

Therefore I urge the IDOE and the SBOE to reconsider and add World Languages as a requirement to all the new diploma tracks by placing World Languages as a component of the Communications part of the Foundational Courses; place a Global Engagement & Competencies in Component 2 alongside Project / Service / Work Based Learning, and add the Certificate of Multilingual Proficiency to the Credential of Value list. 

Write the SBOE about the Diploma Redesign

Dr. Katie Jenner:

Scott Bess:

Erika Dilosa:

William E Durham, Jr.:

Greg Gastineau:

Pat Mapes:

Katie Mote:

Kristin Rentschler:

BJ Watts:

Dear members of the State Board of Education,

As a educator in Indiana, I am writing you to express my concern around the new diploma redesign.  As Indiana tries to focus on the post-secondary goals of its students, focusing on Employment, Enlistment, and Enrollment, I ask that you consider what these three areas ask for in their applicants.   World language education is vital to our economy, national security, and the wellbeing of our students.   

According to studies done by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) and the Indiana Language Roadmap (ILR) 9 out of 10 American based companies rely on multilingual employees.  Most of the colleges and universities in Indiana and around the nation require students to have at least 2 years of instruction before they will accept them into their colleges.  The military pays $100-$500 more per month for members who speak 2 languages, and up to $1000 more per month for those who speak 3 or more.  The Department of Defense spends $15 million annually in federal grants to implement or improve world language programs throughout their DOD schools or those with JROTC programs.  

For these reasons and more, I implore you to add the following components to the new high school diploma redesign:  1) add 4 credits of world language instruction alongside the Communications section in Component 1: Foundational Courses; 2) add a "Global Engagement & Competencies" capstone to Component 2: Employability Skills; 3) add the Certificate of Multilingual Education to the Credential of Values list in Component: 3 Readiness Competencies in the GPS Plus model.  


National Level Initiatives

JNCL-NCLIS Action Alerts

World LEAP (HR 5603)

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. 


AREA Act (S 3392)

To whom it may concern:

As a constituent in your district, it is imperative that leaders in both the state and national government have accurate data concerning world language learning.  A provision of the AREA Act would call for a mandate that the Department of Education to collect and report statistical data related to the availability and access to world language education.  This provision would ensure an accurate picture and support the anecdotal information that we all believe to be true. It is imperative to have access to accurate data, and the lack of it makes it difficult to allocate funds and resources appropriately.   

Therefore, I urge you to support retaining the language attainment research provision in the Advancing Reasearch in Education Act (AREA) (S.3392)


BEST Act (H.R. 7007 / S. 3595)

To whom it may concern:

Every year, students across the US have the opportunity to show their multilingual skills by earning their Certificate of Multilingual Proficiency (a.k.a. the Seal of Biliteracy in many states).  However many do not get this honor as they cannot afford the tests required.  As a constituent in your district, I ask that you allow both our English native speakers learning another language, as well as our English Language Learners to be proud of their multilingual skills and be able to prove it to potential colleges, work places, the military etc. 

The Biliteracy Education Seal and Testing (BEST) Act (H.R. 7007 / S. 3595) would allocate funds to help low income students the opportunity to pay for these tests and achieve their Indiana Certificates of Multilingual Proficiency.  The most vulnerable in our states should have an equal opportunities to prove their multilingual skills that are vital to the economy and security of the US.

Therefore, I urge you to support the BEST Act (H.R. 7007 / S.3595).