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Advocacy News

ACTFL Representatives, Including Teacher of the Year, Visit Capitol Hill

The Joint National Committee for Languages (JNCL) and the National Council for Languages and International Studies (NCLIS) hosted a Language Advocacy Day and Delegate Assembly on Feb. 25-26. Representatives from schools, associations and businesses came together in Washington, D.C., to lobby for the advancement and funding of foreign language education and the language industry. JNCL-NCLIS President Marty Abbott (also executive director of ACTFL) and Executive Director Dr. William P. Rivers led the assembly.

The JNCL-NCLIS attendees met with legislators to establish relationships and raise awareness about language education and industry needs, including

  • Budget cuts to International and Foreign Language Education (IFLE) programs
  • Lack of funding for Title IV, Part A of Every Student Succeeds Act, which could affect each state’s ability to fund foreign language education
  • The continued funding of the Institute for Education Sciences and Title III of Every Student Succeeds Act, which concern program model evaluations and English Language Learners
  • The continued funding of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF)

The attendees prepped for their advocacy day with a half-day meeting on Thursday morning and then embarked on journeys to their respective legislators on Thursday afternoon. A portion of the Friday meeting was devoted to state delegations reporting out about their meetings on Capitol Hill to the entire Delegate Assembly.

ACTFL President Pete Swanson met with legislators from his home state of Georgia, including Sen. Johnny Isakson and Reps. Doug Collins, Tom Price and Hank Johnson. ACTFL National Language Teacher of the Year Dr. Edward Zarrow met with legislators from his home state of Massachusetts, including Sens. Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren and Reps. Stephen Lynch, Seth Moulton and Katherine Clark.

A larger team from the JNCL-NCLIS delegation met with Acting Sec. of Education John King Jr. during their visit to Capitol Hill.