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Representing your language education needs on Capitol Hill

  • Conducted a meeting with World Language Advancement and Readiness Grant Program (WLARA) grantees to inform our strategy for restoring full federal funding in FY25

  • Continued conversations with key offices regarding the introduction of a Senate companion bill for the World LEAP Act (H.R. 5603) which would establish a language education grant program in the Department of Education

  • Secured new America's Languages Caucus Republican House Co-Chair, Representative Jen Kiggans (R-VA)

  • Met with the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee to advocate for language attainment and data collection provision to remain in the Advancing Research in Education (AREA) Act (S. 3392)

Want to learn more? Register to attend the next JNCL-NCLIS Legislative Update Webinar!


Re-Launch of America's Languages Caucus and New Bipartisan Co-Chairs

JNCL-NCLIS is pleased to announce the re-launch of the America’s Languages Caucus with the addition of new House Co-Chair, Representative Jen Kiggans (R-VA-2). Congresswoman Kiggans joins Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-20) in this important leadership role to support multilingualism in the United States.

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A Permanent Funding Source for Cherokee Language Preservation

Originally passed in 2019, the Durbin Feeling Act laid the foundation for the largest language investment in Cherokee history. Now, with the 2024 expansion and permanent reauthorization, a minimum operating funding budget of at least $18 million will be bestowed annually.

Durbin Feeling Language Center in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. (Photo/Courtesy of the Cherokee Nation)

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LAD24 Event Report

This February, the JNCL-NCLIS Language Advocacy Days 2024 (LAD24) event hosted over 230 language educators, professionals, and students from all 50 states and D.C. gathered for the two-day virtual event to meet with Members of Congress and advocate for language education. With a total of 243 meetings, all 100 Senate offices and 143 House offices heard the needs of local language educators. 

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JNCL-NCLIS Applauds Introduction of Revised Biliteracy Education and Seal Teaching (BEST) Act

The revised language included in this bill would establish, within the U.S. Department of Education, a program to support state and local implementation of Seal of Biliteracy programs. This new BEST Act would also require state grantees to provide subgrants to school districts so that they can launch, expand and scale local Seal of Biliteracy programs. 

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Did You Know?

Leveraging JNCL-NCLIS Advocacy Support Tools

The Elevating Language Learning series is built on the concept that the ideas and experiences shared in bite-sized advocacy pitches can often make all the difference in garnering support from decision-makers, and leads with the question, "How does multilingualism bring value to your work and life?". 

Each conversation in the series serves as a compelling advocacy tool showcasing the benefits of multilingualism in a variety of career paths, and highlighting the opportunities opened to students during their language learning journey.

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Federal Appropriations

FY24 Appropriations:

  • Completed in late March 2025
  • World Language Advancement and Readiness Grants Program (WLARP) sustained a $5 million cut
  • All major US Department of Education programs with key language components were level funded
  • Title II and Title III initially targeted for elimination but received level funding for FY24
  • Title VI of the Higher Education Act remained intact
  • Indian Education, Education for Native Hawaiians, and Alaska Native Education programs remained at last year’s funding levels
  • $12.365 million directed for new and continuation grants within the Indian Education account
  • Native American Language Resource Center received $2.965 million, nearly double its previous funding

Read the full FY24 Appropriations analysis

President Biden's FY25 Budget:

  • Proposed increases:

- $50 million for Title III

- $80 million for professional development on multilingual education.

- $75 million to build multilingual educator pipelines

- $5 million for post-secondary fellowships for multilingual educator prep

  • Flat funding proposed for Title II-A, Title IV-A, Indian Education, Education for Native Hawaiians, and Alaska Native Education programs
  • Nearly 5% cut proposed for Title VI of the Higher Education Act, with overseas programs facing a nearly 20% reduction
  • Secretary Cardona defending the President’s budget on Capitol Hill, testified in the House on April 10th, and expected to testify in the Senate on April 30th
  • House and Senate Appropriations subcommittees will craft their versions of the FY25 Labor HHS Education Appropriations bill
  • Final FY25 appropriations legislation anticipated to be completed after the November elections due to various factors, including the upcoming election and limited legislative days

Read the full President's FY25 Budget analysis

New Key Legislation Co-Sponsors

As a result of Language Advocacy Days 2024, the following pieces of legislation have garnered new support from the listed additional members of Congress:

World Language Education Assistance Program (World LEAP) Act (H.R. 5603):

  • Del. Norton, Eleanor Holmes [D-DC-At Large] 
  • Rep. Cleaver, Emanuel [D-MO-5] 
  • Rep. Vasquez, Gabe [D-NM-2]

Biliteracy Education and Seal Teaching (BEST) Act ( (H.R. 7007, S. 3595):

  • Del. Norton, Eleanor Holmes [D-DC-At Large] 
  • Rep. Grijalva, Raúl M. [D-AZ-7] 
  • Rep. Carbajal, Salud O. [D-CA-24] 
  • Rep. Ross, Deborah K. [D-NC-2] 
  • Rep. Schakowsky, Janice D. [D-IL-9]
  • Rep. Cleaver, Emanuel [D-MO-5] 
  • Rep. Mullin, Kevin [D-CA-15] 

State Advocacy Support

Over 1,500 messages to legislators and decision-makers have been sent to take action on state-level language education legislation. 9 states have received direct support from JNCL-NCLIS through action alert campaigns, customized trainings, and letters of support.

  • Virginia: Oppose the Elimination of World Language Coursework (Oppose SB 139)
  • Pennsylvania: Letter of Support for Lower Merion School District High School Japanese Program
  • Connecticut: Letter of Support for Italian Courses at the University of Connecticut
  • Louisiana: Computer Science is Not a World Language (Oppose HB 264), Ensure High School Core Curriculum Includes World Languages (Support HB 266)
  • Rhode Island: Support a multilingual Rhode Island: the Bilingual, Dual Language, and World Language Teachers Investment Act” (Support SB 2845 / HB 7594) and the Support and Access to Bilingual Education Act (Support SB 2917/ HB 7514), Letter of Support for Multilingual Rhode Island Legislation
  • Oklahoma: Provided individualized counsel and training to fight the reclassification of world language credits from required to elective (Oppose HB 3278)
  • Massachusetts: Letter of Support for Public Schools of Brookline K-5 World Language Program
  • Georgia: Letter of Support for Valdosta State University's French Program
  • Indiana: Action Alert to Ensure Indiana Diploma Redesign Requires Language Courses


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For over 40 years, JNCL-NCLIS has united a national network of leading organizations and businesses to advocate for equitable access to language learning opportunities. Please consider donating today to support our work to ensure that all students have the opportunity to learn English and at least one other language.

“Ensuring that Americans have the opportunity to learn English and at least one other language.”
Joint National Committee for Languages
National Council for Languages and International Studies
202-580-8684 | www.languagepolicy.org | info@languagepolicy.org
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