Representative Price, Representative Young, and Senator Booker Announce Opening of World Language Advancement and Readiness Grant Application
WASHINGTON, DC (March 19, 2021) – Today, Representative David Price (D-NC), Representative Don Young (R-AK), and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) announced that the Department of Defense is accepting applications for the new World Language Advancement and Readiness Grant Program. This new competitive grant program seeks to help eligible schools establish, improve, or expand world language programs for elementary and secondary education students. Eligible applicants include schools with a 10 percent or greater military-connected student enrollment and schools that are part of a local education agency which hosts a Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) program. The deadline to apply is May 7, 2021.
Representatives Price and Young, along with Senator Booker, championed the creation of this grant program and secured $15 million in the December omnibus appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21). This program was originally authorized in December 2019 as part of the Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). It was based on the World Language Advancement and Readiness Act, which was introduced during the 116th Congress (H.R. 1094 and S. 2307) in response to reports highlighting the shortfalls in language and cultural skills in the United States military and intelligence communities.
“We must address our language skills gap to ensure our national security, promote economic well-being and job growth, and develop every student’s potential. This new grant program is one way for the United States to combat existing world language and international education deficiencies in our citizens,” said Representative Price. “I encourage all eligible schools to take advantage of this application to expand opportunities for our next generation of students to lead on the world stage.”
"We should be doing all we can to ensure that America's students are equipped to become global leaders in business and civic life, which makes foreign language education critical," said Congressman Don Young, Co-Chair of America's Languages Caucus. "It was my great honor last Congress to work alongside my friend and America's Languages Caucus Co-Chair David Price, to not only create this grant program, but to secure the funding needed to implement it across the nation. I am very pleased to see that our work, alongside the work of countless advocates, has now come to fruition. With applications now open, I encourage all eligible schools and language programs to apply for the World Language Advancement and Readiness Grants. I look forward to seeing everything this funding will accomplish as America's students go on to become world leaders."
“In a global knowledge-based economy, the most valuable resource our country has is the genius of our young people, and it is imperative for us as a nation to expand world language programs in our schools,” said Senator Booker. “This grant program is an essential step toward boosting our education system and ensuring that our students have access to quality language programs that will benefit them educationally, culturally, and professionally in the long run.”