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WordCloud - Advocate For (2)

TESOL International Association, with over 13,000 members world-wide, fosters the exchange of ideas to advance the expertise of those teaching English while supporting equity, diversity, access, and multilingualism. Issues and policy areas TESOL strongly supports include:

  • Sufficient and effective funding for federal education programs serving all English learners and newcomers, from birth through adult education.
  • Improved professional development and career pathways for existing and future English language teachers to gain the skills required to meet the needs of the country’s diverse English learner population of over 5 million K-12 students.
  • Fair immigration policies that do not discriminate or favor individuals based on their country of origin, English language skills, education level, race, religion, or sexual orientation and seek to promote welcoming environments within schools and communities.

Support for schools as havens of trust, safety, and security so that our students can learn and our teachers provide that learning in enriching and vibrant environments, in confidence they are protected and free from harm.

For Fall 2022, as we near mid-terms and the end of the 117th Congress, TESOL and its members advocate for the following U.S. policies:

I. Voter Registration

  • TESOL encourages all its members who are US citizens to actively engage in the voting process and provides these members who are not currently registered an easy-to-use form so they can register to vote*. The next U.S. general election is the 8 November 2022, and voters will have opportunity to cast their vote for some senate and house seats. Additionally, many local municipalities and states will have opportunity to vote for government leadership and/or leadership within their respective jurisdictions.

II. Appropriations for the FY23 Budget

  • TESOL advocates* for increases in federal funding for programs that impact English and Multilingual Learners and the educators and professionals who serve them. The primary vehicles for funding in the appropriations process are funding for Titles I, II, and III of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and Title II of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) or the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA). While the funding levels for these Acts have mostly increased over the years, they have not kept up with the per-student expenditure due to significant rise in English Learners in the U.S. TESOL is seeking the following funding levels for FY23:

III. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)   

  • On 5th October 2022, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court invalidated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA, 2012), sending it back to the District Court for substantive review. The decision places DACA and thereby DACA recipients in precarious situations, for while current recipients may continue to renew DACA while the court reviews, the continuation of DACA after the review, in the current legal climate, is very unlikely. A legislative solution is needed to protect Dreamers – Congress must act! TESOL strongly urges the Senate to follow the House’s lead in passage of the of the bipartisan Dream Act of 2021 (S.264).

IV. U.S. International Education Policy

  • TESOL supports the establishment of a national strategy for international education that builds off the Joint Statement of Principles issued on July 26, 2021, by the U.S. Departments of State and Education. The strategy should establish targets, support policies, and fund programs that enhance access to ESL and higher education in the United States and increase the number and diversity of international students in the United States.

V. Public Charge  

  • TESOL supports the proposed and final regulations set forth in the Federal Register on the 9th of September 2022, and which take effect the 23rd of December 2022. The new regulations mean that Public Charge, which is grounds for inadmissibility for certain individuals seeking to immigrant to the U.S., now aligns more closely with the 1999 interpretation. TESOL will supply more information in the coming months.

VI. Biliteracy Education Seal and Teaching Act (BEST)  

  • TESOL supports the Biliteracy Education Seal and Teaching (BEST) Act (H.R. 1731, S. 680) and encourages members to support its inclusion into FY23 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The bill establishes a federal grant program to help states create and implement an equitable Seal of Biliteracy program that encourages and recognizes high school students who achieve proficiency in both English and at least one other language to better enable young people to compete in the global workforce.

VII. Census 2030 Recommendations  

  • TESOL and its members work with highly marginalized groups within the U.S. who are often not counted in or fear participating in the Census. The Census Bureau is soliciting recommendations that will enhance the 2030 Census and reach more individuals, encouraging their participation. TESOL is compiling these recommendations for submission to the Federal Register

* The voter registration form and calls to action are located on the TESOL Advocacy Action Center at