TESOL International Association is greatly disappointed by the administration’s proposed cuts to numerous federal programs in the FY2018 federal budget and the remainder of the FY2017 federal budget. If implemented, these significant reductions would undermine many key programs that serve students, teachers, and English learners throughout the United States and around the world.
Of the many proposed cuts, TESOL International Association is particularly alarmed at the reductions suggested for the current fiscal year. The administration’s proposal to cut funding for both the Striving Readers Grant and the Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) would be a significant step backward for both programs, especially as states are developing their education plans under the new law. The Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants under ESSA Title II provide crucial support for states to build instructional capacity by developing evidence-based strategies for teacher development and leadership.
TESOL is equally alarmed at the proposed cuts for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) at the U.S. Department of State. ECA programs play a critical role in public diplomacy efforts with a focus on education, culture, and language. Particularly in the field of English language teaching, ECA programs provide vital support for educational and cultural development around the world, with the majority of funds benefiting U.S. institutions, universities, and nongovernmental organizations. Moreover, ECA programs provide significant educational and cultural experiences to students, scholars, and developing professionals, and they contribute an estimated $22 billion to the U.S. economy.
TESOL strongly opposes these proposed cuts, and urges Congress to maintain current levels of support for these and other important federal education programs. TESOL also strongly urges the administration to reconsider the proposed cuts to these programs before issuing their final budget proposal next month.