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Letter to Representative Grijalva expressing NEA's support for the Families Learning and Understanding English Together Act of 2007 (H.R. 1794)

July 18, 2007

Dear Representative Grijalva:


On behalf of the National Education Association's (NEA) 3.2 million members, we would like to express our support for the Families Learning and Understanding English Together Act of 2007 (H.R. 1794). We thank you for your leadership in offering this legislation, which would improve the educational, social, and economic advancement of families with limited English proficient individuals.

The Census Bureau reports that 17.9 percent of U.S. households speak a language other than English at home. In addition, many parents in recently immigrated families speak little to no English, possess low literacy skills in their native language due to limited education, and frequently struggle to assist their children's English language development.

As you know, NEA has a strong history of supporting polices that help parents become more involved in their children's education. Numerous studies emphasize the importance of parents being actively engaged in their child's education. In addition, parent literacy training leads to economic self-sufficiency.

As such, we are pleased that your bill will provide grants to family literacy providers offering services such as interactive literacy activities between parents and their children. H.R. 1794 also calls for providing training for parents regarding how to be the primary teacher for their children and full partners in their children's education.

We thank you again for your leadership on this important issue. We look forward to working with you to garner support for English proficiency programs with stronger parental involvement components as Congress begins the process of reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Sincerely,

Diane Shust, Director of Government Relations

Randall Moody, Manager of Federal Advocacy