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ADVOCACY REPORT: Advocates Urge Congress to Fund World Language Grants Program

Group funding letter for the World Language Advancement and Readiness Grants Program gains 15 Congressional signatures during fast-paced appropriations advocacy campaign

WASHINGTON D.C, November 20, 2020 -- On November 19th, 2020, constituents in select states and districts were alerted to urge their Members of Congress to include first-time funding for the World Language Advancement and Readiness Grants Program in the final FY21 conference report.

The FY21 Defense bill that passed the House of Representatives on July 31, 2020, included funding of $15 million to begin the World Language Advancement and Readiness Grants Program. Unfortunately, the Senate Appropriations bill released last week did not include any funding or report language for the program. To ensure these provisions are enacted into law, Representative Price (D-NC-04) and Representative Young (R-AK-At large) circulated a group letter to negotiators asking for support of the House-passed funding and report for the program.

The advocacy campaign opened to all language advocates for the final two hours leading up to the sign-on deadline and received immediate support.

In total, 143 messages were sent to Members of Congress in 20 states and 36 districts. 112 advocates participated, 107 of which were first-time advocates. An interactive map of responses is available below.

You can toggle between Senate and House view using the button in the upper right corner of the map

Fifteen U.S. Representatives signed on to the bipartisan group letter as a result of constituent advocacy and lobbying efforts from JNCL-NCLIS in coordination with the leadership of the offices of Representative Price (D-NC-04) and Representative Young (R-AK-At large).

The language in the FY2021 Defense Appropriations bill outlines an implementation plan to start the new grant program in Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools for the 2021-2022 academic year, with an expansion to public schools located in districts that host JROTC programs in the following academic year.

The World Language Advancement and Readiness Grant Program was signed into law on December 20, 2019 as part of 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), with provisions of Congressman Price’s World Language Advancement and Readiness Act (H.R. 1094) included in the law’s final text.

Additional updates will be available on the JNCL-NCLIS Legislative Action Center as the appropriations process continues.

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View the group letter to negotiators:

Final FY21 Conference WLARA Letter
Download PDF • 137KB



Established in 1972, the Joint National Committee for Languages (JNCL) and the National Council for Languages and International Studies (NCLIS) represent the Language Enterprise to the US government and business community. JNCL-NCLIS membership includes over 130 organizations, which employ more than 300,000 language professionals globally. Together, JNCL-NCLIS form an all-inclusive network and encompasses all areas of the language field: exchanges, research, technology, translation, interpretation, localization, publishing, testing and more. JNCL-NCLIS’ mission is to ensure that Americans have the opportunity to learn English and at least one other language.


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