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Advocacy News 2013

HELP Chairman Tom Harkin Introduces the “Strengthening America’s Schools Act of 2013”

Every child in this country deserves access to a quality public education that gives them the support they need to reach their full potential. The Strengthening America’s Schools Act of 2013 provides a framework to get all children to graduate from high school with the knowledge and skills needed for success in college and/or a career. Here are some of the language-specific items that are detailed in the bill:

  • The bill again includes Senator Casey’s language from last Congress expanding the Well-Rounded Grant, specifically itemizing subject areas, including Foreign Language.
  • The bill does not include FLAP.
  • One of the allowable use of funds for State subgrants under Title III is “As appropriate, developing curricula appropriate for dual-language instructional environments.” However, the State may not reserve more than 10 percent of the agency’s allotment for this and other itemized purposes.
  • Native American children grants can be used for Native American language immersion programs.

View the press release, one-pager, summary, or the entire bill text.

Sec. Arne Duncan Meets with Noah Geisel, ACTFL’s Teacher of the Year

During the National Teacher Appreciation week, which took place May 6-10, 2013, US Department of Education’s Secretary, Arne Duncan recognized Mr. Noah Geisel as the National Language Teacher of the Year.

Geisel is a Spanish teacher at East High School in Denver, CO. He commented that his enthusiasm for teaching Spanish: “comes from my love of language and culture, and belief that language learning and understanding of cultures are essential to my students’ futures.”

View article on the official US Dept. of Education blog.

2012 Teacher of the Year, Yo Azama, Receives Honor from Congressman Farr

On March 26, 2013, Congressman Sam Farr presented Yo Azama, the 2012 ACTFL Teacher of the Year, with an award. The award recognizes Mr. Azama's leadership as the 2012 National Foreign Language Teach of the Year — California World Language Education Community.

Mr. Azama is a Japanese language teacher at North Salinas High School in Salinas, CA. Congressman Farr said, "I congratulate Mr. Azama on his much-deserved recognition as he continues to teach, lead, and inspire California's youth."