Contact Your Legislators
Make your voice heard! Help us raise awareness within the halls of Congress and state legislatures across the country about the importance of language learning and providing funding for world language programs and teachers at all grade levels.
At the National Level
Title IV, Part A Grants
Tell Congress to fund a well-rounded education that includes world languages!
The Threat to World Languages
If Congress underfunds a new block grant created under Title IV, Part A of the recently enacted and bipartisan “Every Student Succeeds Act” (ESSA), school districts would be prevented from investing in meaningful areas of education, like world languages, and will be faced with the unnecessarily difficult choice of funding some programs over others.
Known as the Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grant program, this block grant will be used by states and school districts to:
- Provide students with a well-rounded education (including world language programming);
- Support a safe and healthy school environment; and
- Support the effective use of technology in the classroom.
Despite being authorized at $1.65 billion within ESSA, the block grant is facing significant funding barriers from Congress. The Senate’s proposal only allocates $300 million for the block grant while the House’s allocation would provide $1 billion, both falling far short of the authorized level.
Join Lead with Languages to fully fund the Title IV, Part A block grant!
At the State Level
Find out if your state is considering allowing computer programming courses to replace foreign language requirements, and take a stand!
World Languages & Computer Science
We believe that world language education is a core part of any globally minded, 21st century curriculum. However, several state legislatures are spearheading a movement that would allow students to meet foreign language course requirements by taking computer programming courses instead. In fact, while C++ and Python may lack the 100,000+ vocabulary that Spanish boasts, states like Texas and Oklahoma already count coding as a “foreign language.”
National advocacy group Code.org has taken a strong position against counting computer sciences as a foreign language program, and ACTFL has released a statement Supporting the Study of World Languages and Computer Science.
Learning a world language is an inherently human-to-human event that engenders unique cognitive benefits over a lifetime, whereas an excessive focus on coding ignores the rapid pace of the tech revolution itself. Every year, new coding languages fall in and out of favor, urging us to question: Which ones should students learn? Unfortunately, we may never know. None of the current state proposals promise to put qualified computer teachers or more computers in the classroom. Those who wish to see coding replace world language promote additional funding for neither subject. And even worse, some proposals require the state university system to accept coding credits as foreign language credits—leading some to ask if such measures would be in defiance of state constitutions.
States that already provide the option of fulfilling a foreign language requirement with a computer science course:
States currently considering coding legislation to replace world languages in 2017:
Virginia, Maryland, Michigan, Florida
Do you think human communication is still relevant? Do you think coding belongs in the math and science department? Do you think replacing one 21st century skill with another does a disservice to both?