Advocacy

Megaphone Icon of Colored Outline style - Available in SVG, PNG, EPS, AI & Icon fontsHB 340 Updates

March 3, 2022

HB 340 was defeated by the VA Senate Education and Health Committee! Thank you for all of your advocacy efforts. More details to come. 

March 2, 2022

Our best chance to defeat HB 340 is Thursday, March 3, when the Senate Education and Health Committee meets at 8 a.m.  Please contact the senators on this committee one more time and ask them to defeat this bill.  The senators’ contact information is listed at https://bit.ly/SenateEd2022 .  Emphasize the importance of world language and cross-cultural communication skills for ALL Virginians in our multilingual, multicultural, globalized economy.  Ask them to leave the advanced high school diploma requirements as they are.
Your messages do make a difference!  At the Public Education Subcommittee meeting last Thursday, the chair noted the number of opposition messages that had been received; I summarized our talking points, and our colleague Justin Beamon supported our opposition in person as well.  Unfortunately, for procedural reasons, there was no vote.  (If you have questions about this, contact advocacy@flavaweb.org for an explanation.)
I do not know if public testimony will be allowed in the full committee, but we should plan to make our voices heard.  If you cannot come to Richmond, sign up to attend and speak at the meeting virtually at https://virginia-senate.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3.  If there is any way you can attend the meeting in person, please plan to do so.  (See https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?221+doc+S0410303 or contact advocacy@flavaweb.org for details.)
A reminder:  HB 340 creates two advanced high school diplomas, one without any world language requirements, one without a CTE requirement.  Senator Hashmi noted that the argument that most convinced her was the fact that CTE courses are in precisely those employment fields–construction, manufacturing, health care, technical services–where employers say language and cross-cultural skills are most needed.  Here is a graph with information about that.  You might want to use this information as you advocate in your own schools.
EmploymentNeedforWL.png
Colleagues, this is our last chance to kill this bill.  Please contact these senators ASAP and then contact the one who represents your district as well (https://whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov/).

What does FLAVA stand for?

HB 340:  Position of the Foreign Language Association of Virginia (FLAVA)

The Foreign Language Association understands the need to differentiate educational paths for Virginia students based on their talents, interests, and goals. Creating various curricular paths for students who aspire to the advanced studies high school diploma can serve this goal. However, we oppose HB 340, as it clearly targets world language courses. 

HB 340 unnecessarily establishes a curricular opposition between world language courses and career and technical education. It unfairly targets courses that teach skills–communication and cross-cultural awareness–of use to all Virginians, no matter their career orientation. All Virginians live in a multilingual and multicultural society within a global economy. The Virginia Chamber of Commerce in its Blueprint Virginia 2030 recognized this when it supported world language instruction as an essential part of workforce education.  Virginia graduates are expected to “build connections and value for interaction with diverse communities,” one goal of world languages courses. Moreover, all world languages courses teach students interpersonal and communication skills, essential in any workplace. 

Because they teach such necessary skills, the Foreign Language Association of Virginia opposes any advanced studies high school diploma that does not contain world language components.

 

Click on the links below to get involved. 

 

Current WL Legislation in VA                     

Learn what laws are being proposed that affect world language education in the Commonwealth.

 

Virginia Lawmakers to Contact              

Contact lawmakers to support world language education! We also encourage you to post on your social media accounts and tag any referred bill’s patron and Education Committee members.

 

Find your legislators

 

Information about speaking at the GA

Join us to stand up for WL legislation. Your voice matters!

 

FLAVA Advocacy Toolkit

If you don’t know what to say/write, FLAVA has an Advocacy folder with resources, including letters others have sent and a template for phone calls to legislators.

 

 

A message from Sharon Scinicariello, FLAVA Advocacy Chairperson:

 

There is good news this week!.  HB 1947 was defeated in the SOL and SOQ subcommittee of the House Education committee on Monday morning. This was due to the actions so many of you took to oppose the bill.  To all of you who submitted comments, called offices, e-mailed delegates, and spoke at the meetings, congratulations and many, many thanks.  This has been an especially difficult year for all of you, so it is very indicative of your passion for your work that you took the time to act on short notice.  Current and future Virginia students will benefit from what you have done.

I will follow up soon with the next steps FLAVA should take to keep languages in the forefront of the legislators’ concerns.  One immediate thing is to collect the comments that you all made about this bill.  I would very much appreciate it if you would send a copy of your comments–written or oral–to advocacy@flavaweb.org.  And if you have suggestions of next steps to take, please send those as well.

Again, congratulations and many thanks!

Sharon Scinicariello
Advocacy Chair, Foreign Language Association of Virginia

 


 

 

FLAVA advocates for world language education on behalf of members at the local, state, and federal levels. FLAVA is a member organization of JNCL-NCLIS, NECTFL, SCOLT, and ACTFL and advocates through these organizations as well. For information or help with advocacy, please contact the FLAVA Advocacy Chair, Sharon Scinicariello, at advocacy@flavaweb.org.

 

Everything you need to know about advocacy including ideas and resources can be found on this site and also on ACTFL’s advocacy page or JNCL-NCLIS’s website. Additionally, FLAVA has an Advocacy folder with resources at bit.ly/FLAVAadvocacy.

 

Advocacy and Social Networking: Many online opportunities educate the public about the benefits and issues surrounding language learning. To stay informed, you can easily “follow,” “like,” or “friend” FLAVA, Discover Languages, ACTFL, Lead with Languages, and other organizations on social media like Facebook or Twitter. Follow FLAVA Advocacy on Twitter at @SGS_RVAThen you can also share this information with your friends, students, and parents. Please do so, as languages are a vital part of our existence.