Updated: Feb 10, 2020
UPDATE: The new World Language Advancement and Readiness Grant Program is signed into law (12/20/2019).
UPDATE: Funding for the new World Language Advancement and Readiness Grant Program was not included in FY20 defense appropriations (02/10/2020).
WASHINGTON, DC — On December 9, 2019, the House and Senate agreed to establish a new world language grant program in 2020 as a part of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The World Language Advancement and Readiness Program directs the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Education to create a competitive grant program for "the establishment, improvement, or expansion of world language study for elementary school and secondary school students".
"It is clear: our nation’s economic competitiveness and national security depends on strong academic programs in world languages," said JNCL-NCLIS Executive Director, Dr. Bill Rivers. "This is a result of years of constant advocacy from our members, which has garnered massive bipartisan support from both the House and Senate."
Eligibility for the program includes 1) local educational agencies that host a unit of the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC), and/or 2) schools operated by the Department of Defense Education Activity. (Section 1751, p. 1659 - 1662, FY20 NDAA)
While the new program has been given the green light by Congress and the President, 2020 will hold a new challenge for the nascent initiative: funding. The NDAA only approves the project launch; now, Congress must direct funding from the FY21 Defense Appropriations Act—a funding bill— to administer the program in subsequent years.
Early in the new year the FY21 appropriations process will begin, starting with White House's expected release of its budget request in January, followed by budget requests from Congressional Appropriators in the House and Senate. JNCL-NCLIS will ensure that language advocates are at the table every step of the way in order to fully fund this program.
In the meantime, click below to read up on other authorization and appropriations updates from this year.
Read more about all the authorization updates from the FY20 NDAA here:
Read up on the full range of funding updates for all federal language and international studies programs here: FY20 Appropriations - Language Enterprise Analysis