LEGISLATIVE NEWS: Committee Passes Bill Expanding Dual Language & Tribal Language Education

OLYMPIA – Today, the House Education Committee took a major step forward in promoting multilingualism and cultural appreciation by unanimously passing House Bill 1228. Introduced by Representative Lillian Ortiz-Self (D-Mukilteo), the legislation supports Dual Language Education (DLE) and Tribal Language Education (TLE) programs administered by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and the Office of Native Education (ONE).

Under the legislation, certificated instructional staff and paraeducators who demonstrate multilingual skills and knowledge can become guides to fostering understanding and breaking down language barriers.

By strengthening DLE and TLE programs, Washington is also empowering students with a multilingual education to compete and thrive in the job market where fluency in multiple languages expands career options, increases their earning potential, and makes them highly sought-after by employers seeking to engage with diverse markets and communities. Multilingual graduates can serve as vital bridges between communities, ensuring effective communication and service delivery in healthcare, education, and other critical sectors.

In a world increasingly driven by global collaboration, the ability to navigate different cultures and perspectives is crucial. Multilingual graduates possess inherent cultural sensitivity and adaptability, making them invaluable assets in fostering inclusive and productive work environments.

“By investing in DLE and TLE, we are celebrating our state’s diversity and preparing our future workforce for a globalized world” said Rep. Ortiz-Self. “Let’s make Washington a state where language diversity is not just tolerated, but celebrated and nurtured. Let’s unlock the potential of every child, one bilingual voice at a time.”