Rep. Loretta Sanchez Introduces the Genius Act

Mar 16, 2011 Issues: Education

WASHINGTON, D.C. Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-47) today introduced fundamental legislation to expand international education and foreign language programs in schools. The Global Education Nexus in U.S. (GENIUS) Act, H.R. 1109, would require the Deputy Assistant Secretary for International and Foreign Language Education to establish a new grant program promoting international education in elementary and secondary schools by funding both teacher professional development focused on international education, and extracurricular programs that promote international education.

Data published over the last decade finds that American-based multinational corporations, as well as small businesses, increasingly need employees with knowledge of foreign languages and cultures to market product to domestic and international consumers, as well as to work effectively with the foreign employees and partners in other counties.  The GENIUS Act would provide grants to support international education and foreign language focused professional development for teachers.  In addition, this legislation would provide grants for extracurricular programs focused on international education and foreign language to continue students' engagement on these issues outside of the classroom as well.

"Providing quality jobs for hard working Americans is our nation’s top priority.  In order to accomplish that, we must guarantee that education – even at its earliest stages – gives students the skill sets they need to succeed in a increasingly global economy,” said Sanchez.  “The importance of international and foreign language education for our nation’s future cannot be overstated.  We’re only as good as our human capital, and without immediate action, our students will fall behind their foreign counterparts.  I urge Congress to pass this legislation and ensure our strong footing as the future’s global economic leader.”