We can’t compete in the global market with citizens who are crippled by being monolingual. Besides the ample evidence of increased cognitive development in children when they learn foreign languages, it would stimulate our economy by opening up more jobs in education. And we need to start paying teachers a wage that reflects their value to our society.
I didn’t have the opportunity to learn a language until high school, and the programs were extremely limited. It is crippling especially in California where over half the population speaks Spanish. California as a state should just be bilingual, like the city of Miami.
As a nation we need to subsidize especially ASL, Spanish and Chinese - have those be minimum number of languages kids start learning in k-6 and then in high school and university they can take fun languages like Tibetan or Navajo or Bahasa Indonesia or whatever tickles their fancy.
Right now we are a nation with some of the highest illiteracy rates in the developed world and some of the poorest quality education. As a society we need to commit to our future generations and give them all the tools they need to succeed or we will be left behind by the rest of the world.