August 2010

Senate appropriators have approved legislation that would boost Department of State exchange program funding in FY 2011 by more than $19 million, amidst a significant overall increase in funding for the Department.

As previously reported by the Alliance , the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs approved legislation last week that would boost Department of State educational and cultural exchange program funding in FY 2011 by more than $19 million.

As he promised to do back in June, Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC), introduced legislation yesterday to create a professional exchange program between the U.S. and Muslim-majority countries. According to an SFRC press release, the International Professional Exchange Act of 2010 (S.

Ann Stock, the recently sworn-in Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, has quickly become active with social media tools, launching a Twitter account (follow her here: @AnnatState) and posting on the DipNote blog about her first official trip as Assistant Secretary, to Mexico City:

Reps. Rush Holt (D-NJ) and Paul Tonko (D-NY) introduced last Friday the Excellence and Innovation in Language Learning Act (HR 6036), a bill that would authorize $400 million in funding for FY 2011 for the teaching of foreign languages to K-12 students. The sponsoring Representatives hope that the bill will become part of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or “No Child Left Behind,” in the Department of Education.

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Speaking last week at a conference of the Association of Binational Centers in Latin America (ABLA) in Cali, Colombia, Judith McHale, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, stressed that binational centers, or BNCs*, are an integral part of U.S. public diplomacy and that the establishment of “American Spaces” are essential to moving “beyond the walls of our embassies.”

Below please find the listing of Federal Register announcements issued by the U.S. Departments of State, Education, and Homeland Security, and USAID since 07/30/10.

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Funding intended to increase access to study abroad was included in the FY 2011 Labor/HHS/Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill (S 3686) reported out this week by the Senate Appropriations Committee. Included within the Title VI and Fulbright-Hays funding in the bill is $2 million “to expand access to study abroad.” The goals of this $2 million allocation, as noted in the bill’s report language, include:

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  • The Alliance reported on a $19 million increase in FY 2011 Department of State exchange funding courtesy of Senate appropriators, then examined that appropriations bill in detail. The Alliance also noted funding for study abroad that appeared in the Department of Education appropriations bill.
  • Sen. Kerry (D-MA) introduced a bill to create a professional exchange program between the U.S. and Muslim-majority countries, while Reps. Holt (D-NJ) and Tonko (D-NY) introduced their own bill to increase K-12 foreign language instruction.
  • Under Secretary McHale announced the creation of “American Spaces” and grants for binational centers, while Assistant Secretary Stock set out into the world of State Department social media.
  • Your weekly Federal Register listing

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In a feature entitled “For American Students, Life Lessons in the Mideast,” the New York Times reports on student experiences in what it calls “the fastest growing region for study abroad in the world."