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Does your school have a FLAP grant? Call Congress…

February 28, 2011

American Council on Immersion Education

Educating Globally Competent Leaders

WHY CONTINUATION OF THE FOREIGN LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

(ESEA-Title V, Part D, Subpart 9)

IS CRITICAL TO THE NATIONAL INTEREST

•International and foreign language education programs in the U.S. Department of Education—

such as the K-12 Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP)—support our nation’s long-term

national security, global leadership and economic competitiveness capabilities. Successful U.S.

engagement in these areas, at home or abroad, relies on Americans with global competence.

•Less than 20% of Americans reported speaking a foreign language in census surveys, as opposed to 53% of Europeans. While many nations—such as the European Union, China, and India–require their students to learn two or more languages, the U.S. is behind. Educating the 21st century workforce for a globally competitive economy requires foreign language and cultural education.

•At a time of severe and growing shortages of Americans with foreign language skills in government, healthcare, law enforcement, business and many other professions, the nation’s K-12 educational system is not prepared to expand international and language education for 21st century needs.

•The federal role in stimulating K-12 foreign language education reform requires a dedicated

funding stream, since it provides a skill set needed by the nation for security and global economic

competitiveness. Consolidating or eliminating FLAP would make it subject to state and local

educational agency priorities, which historically have not emphasized foreign language education,

even more so now during a time of fiscal constraint.

•A recent survey by the Center for Applied Linguistics found that only 25 percent of American elementary schools even offer foreign languages. Moreover, fewer elementary schools are teaching a foreign language compared to a decade ago. In spite of this, survey data indicated strong growth and increased national interest in the number of language immersion programs.

What These Programs Do

•Funded at $26.928 million in FY 2010, the Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP) is the

only Department of Education program supporting the development of foreign language programs

at the K-12 levels. A portion of the funding is set aside for 5-year grants to local educational agencies that work in partnership with one or more institutions of higher education to establish or expand articulated programs of study in languages critical to U.S. national security, including Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Russian, and languages in the Indic, Iranian, and Turkic language families.

•Research demonstrates that learning a foreign language proficiently is best begun at an early age using the language immersion program model. This innovative program model provides sufficient time during which children learn subject matter in and use a new language. They accomplish this while becoming fully proficient in English and mastering subject knowledge. FLAP consistently funds a large number of new immersion program start-ups and continuous program improvement initiatives.

Contact: Tara W. Fortune • E-Mail: fortu001@umn.edu

Web: http://www.carla.umn.edu/acie

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February 28, 2011

The Honorable NAME HERE

ADDRESS HERE

Dear Senator NAME HERE,

As the Senate deliberates deficit reduction strategies and spending cuts for the remainder of FY 2011, I write to urge the Senate to consider the critical role played by the U.S. Department of Education’s International Education and Foreign Language Studies programs HEA-Title VI, Fulbright-Hays, and the Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP) — in strengthening our nation’s security and global economic competitiveness.

H.R. 1 would provide continued funding in FY2011 for Title VI and Fulbright-Hays at the FY 2010 levels. I strongly urge the Senate to concur.  However, H.R. 1 eliminates all funding for FLAP in FY 2011.  I strongly urge the Senate to restore funding for FLAP at the FY 2010 level, the same amount as provided by the FY 2011 Continuing Resolution expiring on March 4.

FLAP is the only U.S. Department of Education program dedicated to providing direct grants supporting innovative K- 12 foreign language programs, such as language immersion programming.  Language immersion education is the most promising approach for providing children with high levels of bilingual proficiency. For decades research has shown these programs to support the same or higher levels of academic achievement and higher levels of second language proficiency than any other school-based model we know.

The San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) has boldly proposed to become the first district in the nation to ensure that every one of our 55,000 plus students graduate with proficiency in at least two languages. With FLAP funding, we are expanding critical Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Russian programs, with full K-16 standards-based articulation, high-quality teaching, high student expectation and assessment, and program accountability. In partnership with San Francisco State University (SFSU) and Stanford University, we are building K-16 critical language pathways for our students, offer specialized training for our faculty, and create a pipeline for critical language teachers to come back to SFUSD. Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP) funding is essential to make this vision a reality.

Currently, FLAP funds two highly innovative 5-year projects that use a K-12 – University partnership to develop K-12 Chinese and Korean immersion programs as well as Japanese and Russian K-12 World Language pathways for heritage and non-native speakers.

The consequences of eliminating this federal funding source for K-12 language learning, and in particular immersion education, would be devastating not only here in San Francisco but across the U.S.  Please give your full support for continued funding at current levels for FLAP, Title VI and Fulbright-Hays in FY 2011. U.S. children need access to innovative, high-quality educational programs that prepare them to succeed economically and politically in today’s globally interdependent world.

Respectfully,

 

——

 

People to call or write

S. Labor/HHS w/Educ Staff
Full Name St Dist Phone Room Zip Email
Fax Education Issues
C P
Inouye, Daniel K. HI 202-224-3934 202-224-6747 SH-722 20510-1102 Anthony Ching
anthony_ching@inouye.senate.gov
001
S D
Leahy, Patrick J. VT 202-224-4242 202-224-3479 SR-433 20510-4502 Kathryn Toomajian
kathryn_toomajian@leahy.senate.gov
001
S D
Harkin, Tom IA 202-224-3254 202-224-9369 SH-731 20510-1502 Bethany Little
bethany_little@help.senate.gov
002
S D
Mikulski, Barbara A. MD 202-224-4654 202-224-8858 SH-503 20510-2003 Mario Cardona
mario_cardona@mikulski.senate.gov
001
S D
Kohl, Herbert H. WI 202-224-5653 202-224-9787 SH-330 20510-4903 Jessah Foulk
jessah_foulk@kohl.senate.gov
001
S D
Murray, Patty WA 202-224-2621 202-224-0238 SR-448 20510-4704 Sarah Bolton
sarah_bolton@murray.senate.gov
001
S D
Feinstein, Dianne CA 202-224-3841 202-228-3954 SH-331 20510-0504 Christine Epres
christine_epres@feinstein.senate.gov
001
S D
Durbin, Richard J. IL 202-224-2152 202-228-0400 SH-309 20510-1304 Lexi Saudargas
lexi_saudargas@durbin.senate.gov
001
S D
Johnson, Tim P. SD 202-224-5842 202-228-5765 SH-136 20510-4104 Erin Barry
erin_barry@johnson.senate.gov
001
S D
Landrieu, Mary L. LA 202-224-5824 202-224-9735 SH-328 20510-1804 Tasha Patusky
tasha_patusky@landrieu.senate.gov
001
S D
Reed, Jack RI 202-224-4642 202-224-4680 SH-728 20510-3903 Moira Lenehan Razzuri
moira_lenehan@reed.senate.gov
001
S D
Lautenberg, Frank NJ 202-224-3224 202-228-4054 SH-324 20510-3005 Julie Groeninger
julie_groeninger@lautenberg.senate.gov
001
S D
Nelson, E. Benjamin NE 202-224-6551 202-228-0012 SH-720 20510-2706 Charlie Ellsworth
charlie_ellsworth@bennelson.senate.gov
001
S D
Pryor, Mark L. AR 202-224-2353 202-228-0908 SD-255 20510-0405 Mia Petrini
mia_petrini@pryor.senate.gov
001
S D
Tester, Jon MT 202-224-2644 202-224-8594 SH-724 20510-2604 Alpha Lillstrom
alpha_lillstrom@tester.senate.gov
002
S D
Brown, Sherrod OH 202-224-2315 202-228-6321 SH-713 20510-3505 Margie Glick
margie_glick@brown.senate.gov
001
S D
Cochran, Thad MS 202-224-5054 202-224-9450 SD-113 20510-2402 Will Todd
will_todd@cochran.senate.gov
001
S R
McConnell, Mitch KY 202-224-2541 202-224-2499 SR-361A 20510-1702 Sarah Arbes
sarah_arbes@mcconnell.senate.gov
001
S R
Shelby, Richard C. AL 202-224-5744 202-224-3416 SR-304 20510-0103 Graham Smith
graham_smith@shelby.senate.gov
001
S R

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