Your Help is Urgently Needed to Prevent Cuts to Language Education Funding
September 6, 2011
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The Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP), the only source of federal funding for K-12 foreign language programs, is currently slated to be cut or eliminated in congressional budget proposals. If the $26 million in funding for this program was not continued, it would directly impact current grantees in states and districts across the country. Right now we have a vital FLAP grant in Athens Clarke County where all students are exposed to both Spanish and English literacy education–it’s the first such program in our county and one of only 4 unique programs in Georgia that helps put our state on the map for global education–schooling that will help our youth compete in a multilingual world market.
As a June 14 article in the National Review states, the diplomatic and defense communities are desperately in need of citizens able to communicate in a second language. Former CIA director and current Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta once said, “Language is the window through which we come to know other peoples and cultures. Mastery of a second language allows you to capture the nuances that are essential to true understanding…This is not about learning something that is helpful or simply nice to have…It is vital to our economic interests. It is vital to our diplomacy. It is vital to our national security to use the language of the people that we engage throughout the world.”
As Congress continues the conversation on federal spending, I encourage you to protect funding for this vital federal program. Thank you very much for your attention to this important issue.
Dr. Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor
If you would like to help inform your congressman and senator about the importance of funding for foreign language education–see the ACTFL link here:
Dear Language Education Supporter:
FLAP is in trouble. In early August, Congress passed the Budget Control Act, which raised the nation’s debt limit while simultaneously mandating cuts in federal spending. This budget agreement between Congress and the Administration cut $7 billion and could result in significant reductions to education programs. Despite the many benefits of language learning to our nation’s economic growth and security as well as to a student’s ability to excel in school, funding for foreign language programs has come under attack. Already, higher education spending for foreign languages (Title VI) has been cut by $50 million, a 40 percent reduction from the previous year. The Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP), the only source of federal funding for K-12 foreign language programs, is slated to be cut or eliminated in congressional budget proposals.
Act now and tell Congress how important language learning is in your community!