With the intention to “improve U.S. competitiveness and national security, U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg and U.S. Rep. Rush Holt of New Jersey have introduced legislation to create a program of foreign language classes for K to 12 students.
The Foreign Language Education Partnership Program Act would provide up to $50 million in annual funding for model programs of sequenced foreign language instruction from K-12, with the goal of graduating high school students with an advanced level of proficiency, according to a joint statement released by Lautenberg’s office.
All languages are eligible for consideration, but the Secretary of Education would have the authority to prioritize languages based on national needs.
The bill has been introduced to the Senate and the House, and is co-sponsored by Reps. David Wu (D-OR), Pedro R. Pierluisi (D-PR), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Jared Polis (D-CO), Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI).