Appropriations Priorities for the 116th Congress


Department of Education 

  • Title VI of Higher Education Act – International and Foreign Language Education Office
  • Title IV, Part A of Every Student Succeeds Act – Student Support and Academic Enhancement Grants
  • Title III of Every Student Succeeds Act – Office of English Language Acquisition
  • Institute of Education Sciences
NCLIS notes that the FY17 budget decreases funding to the International and Foreign Language Education (IFLE) programs of the US Department of Education by almost $5m, from the current $72m to $67m. This cut, directed at the overseas programs of IFLE, will significantly damage the Fulbright-Hays programs. We note that, if enacted, this funding level will still remain more than $50m below the fiscal year 2011 levels. NCLIS requests robust funding for these programs, at or above the FY16 levels, for the remainder of 2017 and for 2018.
NCLIS notes that the FY17 budget requests $500m for Part A of Title IV of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This amount is less than one third of the authorization level of $1.65b. This allocation will severely limit the ability of states and districts to make meaningful investments in subjects that are essential to a well-rounded education, which includes foreign language education. NCLIS requests full funding for the remainder of 2017 and for 2018, as agreed upon by Congress and authorized in ESSA.
 NCLIS welcomes the request of $800m for 2017 Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in English language acquisition among English Language Learners (ELLs), and notes that this program has driven the formation of innovative and impactful dual-language immersion programs that result in greater academic success for ELLs. NCLIS requests the same level of funding, $800m, for 2017 and 2018.
 NCLIS welcomes the proposed funding of $693.8m for the Institute of Education Sciences; this request is $75.8m more than the enacted 2016 level. IES supports high-quality evaluations of program models for their impact on educational outcomes, including several research studies on the differential impact of Dual Language Immersion. NCLIS requests this level of funding for the remainder of 2017 and for 2018.

Department of State

  • Educational and Cultural Exchanges
  • Title VIII: New Independent States of the Former Soviet Union Act
  • Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange
NCLIS is pleased by the FY17 budget request of $639.8m for the overall budget for educational and cultural exchanges, an increase of $48.9 over the $590.9m in FY16. NCLIS asks Congress to support the request for the remainder of 2017 and going forward for 2018. International exchanges, including programs for US students to study abroad, are a bedrock component of our education in foreign languages, and are invaluable as a tool of informal diplomacy.
NCLIS requests restoration of FY12-level funding for the New Independent States of the Former Soviet Union Act (PL 90-164, Title VIII), in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, to $5.7m, $2.7m above the FY16 level of $3m.
NCLIS notes that the Department of State omits funding for the Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX). NCLIS requests that the CBYX receive full funding of $4m for FY17 and FY18, the same level as in FY16. NCLIS notes that both the Title VIII and CBYX programs were specifically included by the Congress in FY16, a clear signal to the Department to continue supporting these programs.

Department of Defense

  • Defense Language and National Security Education Office
  • Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center
  • Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
 NCLIS requests robust funding at or above the FY16 level, as well the as the statutory funding level for the National Security Education Program of $16m from the Intelligence budget. DLSNEO funds several programs vital to language and culture in national security, including the more than 60 programs supported by the Language Flagship, the Boren Fellowship and Scholarship Programs, the African Language Initiative, the Flagship K-12 initiative, among others.
The FY17 Budget requests a slight decrease in the DLIFLC budget of $3m. DLIFLC is the world’s largest language school, educating some 5,000 American service members in 18 languages critical to our defense and national intelligence efforts. NCLIS requests that Congress fund DLIFLC at FY16 levels, at $301m, for the remainder of FY17 and for FY18.
 NCLIS notes the request for $2.973b for DARPA, an increase of $1m over FY16 totals. DARPA funds a number of advanced programs in language technology; prior R&D funded by DARPA underlies much of the translation and localization technology used by today’s language industry. NCLIS requests robust funding for DARPA, at or above the request.

Other Federal Agencies and Programs

  • National Endowment for the Humanities
  • National Science Foundation
  • Intelligence Community
 NCLIS notes the FY17 request for funding at $149.8m, a $1.9m increase over the FY16 level of $147.9m. NCLIS joins the National Humanities Alliance in requesting $155m for NEH. This level of funding would allow the agency to better exercise its critical role as a catalyst for educational, research, preservation, and programming initiatives in the humanities by meeting extensive demand for support, which routinely outstrips available funds.
 NCLIS supports the FY17 request for NSF funding at $7.964b, and notes that the budget requests $288.8m for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences, including linguistics, a 6.1% increase over FY16. NCLIS applauds the Administration’s decision to invest in linguistics and related sciences.
 NCLIS urges robust funding for the language programs in the intelligence community, to include STARTALK.

Language in Federal Appropriations

The chart below details the appropriations for FY15 and FY16, as well as the President’s FY17 budget request and the Senate and House funding levels for the various programs.

approps FY16 request chart

**For cells denoted with asterisks, the funding level is not yet publicly available.

The chart below details past-years’ appropriations and requests to the relevant language programs in the Department of State, Department of Defense and Department of Education, as well as this year’s totals.

appropriations chart FY15