Legislative Updates

National Level

World LEAP (H.R. 5603)

Representative Jimmy Panetta (D. CA) officially sponsored the World Language Education Assistance Program (LEAP) Act (H.R. 5603) to create a multi-year competitive grant program, open to all K-12 school districts, to establish, improve, and carry out world language and dual language programs.  

Focus will be given to aid in PD opportunities for teachers, stem the educator shortage, community-based heritage language schools, diversify the teacher workforce, data collection on multilingualism, etc.  

This is an exciting bill which could act as a catalyst for many expansions / improvements to world language programs around the nation.  

As of October this bill is now bipartisan!! 

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

The Biliteracy Education Seal and Teaching (BEST) Act would provide funding to states to improve the Seal of Biliteracy (a.k.a. Certificate of Multilingual Proficiency (CoMP) in Indiana).

It would offer subgrants from states to school districts to enable schools districts to subsidize the costs of the CoMP for low income students.

Currently the Indiana Language Roadmap offers scholarships to schools to help students pay for these tests.  But if we could fund this nationally, then the ILR could use that money to promote other initiatives in the state.  

AREA Act (S. 3392)

The Advancing Research in Education (AREA) Act would mandate that the Department of Education's Statistics Center collect, report, analyze, and disseminate statistical data..." related to K-12 and higher education on "the availability of, and access to, foreign language coursework. "

This would give us invaluable statistics to help promote world language legislation more easily.  Many legislators want this information but we have to tell them that it is not available without this bill becoming law.  

National Budget Crisis

As of November 2023, the National Budget proposed in the House is calling for major cuts including Education.  The proposed cuts would reduce Title I funding by 80%, and would completely eliminate Title II, and III!  The Senate proposed budget calls for no cuts and equal spending from the previous fiscal year.  It is up to both sides to negotiate these numbers as soon as they are passed out of their perspective sides.  

November 20th, 2023 update - The government has passed a specific funding package to keep the government open until the end of January / early February.  Part of this is that education will remain at FY23 funding.  The Speaker of the House scrapped the bill requiring the education cuts, among other cuts, due to it's inability to garner enough votes.  We still need to keep up this fight, but we have a slight reprieve for the holidays.  

February 2024 update - The government has until the beginning of March to decide on a budget for FY23 (now almost half over).  As soon as they resolve that they will have to start deciding on FY24 with the looming election happening.  

Stay tuned!

JNCL-NCLIS - America's Languages Caucus

December 2021 - Please send a Thank You letter to Sen. Braun for joining the America's Languages Caucus, as one of the first Republican Senators to join this new Caucus!!  Very excited that Indiana is represented in this important Caucus.

State level

NEW Graduation Pathways!

In the summer of 2023, Indiana approved two new Graduation Pathways with world languages being at the foreground of both of them.  The first one by Perry Township was entitled "Connecting English Learners to Successful Employment" with a focus on our Multilingual students' abilities to graduate from Indiana High Schools; and the second one was jointly written between Highland, IPS, and MSDLT called "Global Communication" to support students planning to go into the fields of translation, interpretation, communication, international studies, and global entrepreneurship.  

Certificate of Multilingual Proficiency - IN 

September 2022 - The wording on the CoMP Document now stipulates that students can use either their WIDA scores or any other state graduation qualifying exam in order to earn their Certificate of Multilingual Proficiency.