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Statement on President-Elect Biden's Incoming Administration & Outline of TESOL Policy Priorities

by David Cutler | 11/19/2020
TESOL International Association (TESOL) extends its congratulations to U.S. President-Elect Joseph R. Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris. The association commends the president-elect and his transition team for a blueprint of education and immigration reform that aspires to meet the needs of English learners across the United States, regardless of national origin, native language, or immigration status.

In August of this year, TESOL joined other leading advocacy organizations in endorsing a list of policy recommendations that were sent to the presidential campaigns of President Trump and then former Vice President Biden. Though the association is optimistic that the president-elect’s transition team is working hard to ensure all English learners acquire the skills to become global citizens, TESOL will be sending the transition team a robust list of policy recommendations in the weeks ahead as the needs of English learners and English language teaching professionals continue to evolve. Included in TESOL’s top priorities for the Biden Administration and U.S. Department of Education are the following:

  • Providing increased financial assistance to public schools in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Improving the English language teacher pipeline for K–12 public schools and strengthening teacher preparation programs at the college and university level.
  • Implementing comprehensive immigration reform and safeguarding the immigration status of Dreamers.
  • Bringing a focus on family and community engagement in order to rebuild trust with immigrant families and families of English learners.
  • Revising rules and regulations that have prohibited or restricted international students from traveling to the United States to learn English at colleges or universities.
  • Working with lawmakers in Congress to reauthorize the Higher Education Act.
  • Proposing annual federal budgets that increase funding for Titles I, II, and III of the Every Student Succeeds Act, as well as Title II of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. 
The association is hopeful that the incoming Biden Administration will take its forthcoming recommendations under thoughtful consideration. It is in the best interest of the incoming administration, TESOL, and the United States to improve the educational experiences of English learners and expand the professional opportunities and outcomes for English language professionals.

TESOL looks forward to a productive relationship with the Biden Administration and continuing to strengthen its ties with the U.S. Department of Education.