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  • 21 Jun 2024 6:08 PM | Carla Huck (Administrator)

    On July 22-23, 2024, the Sunshine State Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (SSTESOL), represented by Dr. Arlene Costello, SSTESOL Advocacy Committee Chair, will join TESOL International and other state affiliates in taking its members’ voices to the Hill. These influencers will advocate for policy updates on US federal funding and legislation impacting English teaching, multilingual learners of English, families, communities, and schools in PreK-12, Adult Education and Family Literacy (AEFLA), Higher Education Act (HEA), Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), immigration, and more from the state to the local levels.

    During this event, Dr. Costello will meet to share your success stories and challenges with the Florida House representatives and senators, asking for their support and vote for the TESOL $2 billion FY25 funding. We ask for $2 billion for Title III of ESSA to keep up with the population growth and the impact of inflation. 

    For your part in this process, please share your success stories and challenges with the SSTESOL Advocacy Committee by July 18, 2024.

    Option 1: Email Dr. Costello:

    Option 2: Enter your information in this Google Form. (

    Tell us about the innovative professional learning activities and events you have implemented in your districts and institutions that changed classroom practices and increased student achievement. Include in your narrative:

    • how you implement the Florida Seal of Biliteracy program and its effects on low-income students,
    • what increased funding will mean to improving programs in adult education, and
    • the effects of the Higher Education Act on Teacher Quality Partnerships (TQP) with local education agencies and non-profit organizations.

    It's vital to understand the budget process for federal funding allocated to the state. It begins with a budget proposal in March, followed by the Budget Resolution and Appropriations Bill by September 30th, with the final step of sending the bills for the President’s signature. This process is where your advocacy efforts can truly make a difference.

    With your support, SSTESOL will make its mark in supporting TESOL’s Legislative priorities!

    By Arlene Costello, Ed.D., Advocacy Commitee Chair & Carla Huck, Ed.D., President

  • 8 Feb 2024 11:36 AM | Jennifer Killam

    Jeff Hutcheson, Director of Advocacy and Public Policy at TESOL International Association, has organized a call to action focused on appropriations for the 2024 congressional budget. Specifically, TESOL is asking congress to fully fund educational programs that provide support for multilingual students in K-12, adult education, and higher education. One particular area of concern is protecting Title III of ESEA, which is among the potential cuts to the 2024 budget. You can learn more about this and other TESOL advocacy priorities here.

    Please consider sending a message to your representative using the TESOL Advocacy Action Center tool, which appears on the right hand side of the page linked above. There, you will find a draft of an email that you can update to share your own stories from your context or choose to simply send as-is. When you include your contact information below the message, the tool will automatically identify your representatives and send the message on your behalf.

    Please share this information with your networks. As you know, funding multilingual education ensures that our programs can continue to meet the needs of students in our area and around the country.

  • 20 Nov 2023 1:33 PM | Jennifer Killam

    TESOL International Association has released a White Paper on Discrimination in Education that responds to discriminatory educational practices that impact both English language teaching (ELT) professionals and the education of multilingual learners of English in the U.S. and around the globe. The white paper serves as a resource to ELT professionals, TESOL members (of which SSTESOL is an affiliate), and reaffirms a commitment to the values that undergird our profession.

    Along with a worldwide team of TESOL International leaders, members, and experts, SSTESOL's Secretary Jennifer Killam worked with the advisory group that developed the white paper and contributed to its writing. In addition to calling on her own expertise in advocacy, she called on several SSTESOL advocates and professionals for their input and guidance on various drafts. SSTESOL is proud to have a Florida-based voice contribute to this important work, and we encourage you to read the statement here:

  • 30 Oct 2023 7:11 PM | Jennifer Killam

    One of the highlights of the October 2023 SSTESOL virtual conference was the two-hour Advocacy Panel, where our panelists shared their expertise related to local, state, and national advocacy with attendees.

    The panel opened with a presentation by Dr. Kate Menken of Queen’s College, City University of New York titled “We are the Policymakers: An Advocacy Framework & Action Plan.” Dr. Menken shared concrete steps that multilingual education advocates can promote positive change in language policy. She also shared insights from advocacy work in New York that can serve as an example for advocates and organizations in other states. Dr. Julie Sugarman of the Migration Policy Institute presented on Advocacy for Newcomer Multilingual Learners, in which she highlighted newly-published research on recent immigrant children arriving at U.S. schools. She also suggested specific actions that teachers working with multilingual students can take to support policy shifts and promote awareness related to larger issues around data and definitions, funding, and intake and placement. We were also fortunate to have TESOL Director of Advocacy & Public Policy Jeff Hutcheson join us to discuss Advocacy for the Profession and Learners. He shared advocacy events, resources, and tools for immediate action available through TESOL International’s Advocacy Action Center, as well as federal legislative priorities.

    Dr. Rosa Castro-Feinberg, a retired scholar from Florida International University and a well-known advocate for multilingual learners, discussed specific and immediate actions Florida-based educators can take in a presentation titled “What Educators Can Do Now to Improve Teaching and Learning Conditions AFTER the Elections.” Her presentation focused on three important concepts in advocacy, communication, coordination, and contact with policy makers and influential individuals. She closed her presentation by reminding attendees that in advocacy, “Sometimes we win and sometimes we learn.” Finally, Dr. Ryan Pontier from Florida International University, shared an informative presentation on Addressing Your Local Legislative Delegation, in which he underscored the importance of taking the time to speak to delegates and share expertise on multilingual education since policy makers may have limited knowledge or awareness of the issues students, teachers, and administrators face. Dr. Pontier also outlined steps for crafting a concise and respectful message for addressing delegations and reminded attendees that change is only possible if we put in the effort to share our experiences with policy makers.

    Attendees reported that they left feeling inspired and empowered by the panel. SSTESOL hopes to capitalize on the momentum generated by the panel as we plan our advocacy efforts for the upcoming year.

    If you are interested in sharing ideas, planning, or participating in our advocacy efforts in ways big or small, please let us know by completing this short survey:

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