Rep. Cynthia Soto

Filed: 5/8/2013





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2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend Senate Bill 1221 by replacing
3everything after the enacting clause with the following:
4    "Section 1. Legislative intent.
5    (a) It is the intent of the legislature to encourage
6excellence for all pupils, and the legislature wishes to
7publicly recognize pupils for exemplary achievements in
8academic studies.
9    (b) The study of languages other than English in elementary
10and secondary schools should be encouraged because it
11contributes to a pupil's cognitive development and to our
12national economy and security.
13    (c) Proficiency in multiple languages is critical in
14enabling this State to participate effectively in a global
15political, social, and economic context and in expanding trade
16with other countries.
17    (d) The demand for employees to be fluent in more than one



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1language is increasing both in this State and throughout the
3    (e) The benefits to employers in having staff fluent in
4more than one language are clear: access to an expanded market,
5allowing business owners to better serve their customers'
6needs, and the sparking of new marketing ideas that better
7target a particular audience and open a channel of
8communication with customers and businesses in other
10    (f) It is the intent of the legislature to promote
11linguistic proficiency and cultural literacy in one or more
12languages in addition to English and to provide recognition of
13the attainment of those needed and important skills through the
14establishment of the State Seal of Biliteracy. A State Seal of
15Biliteracy would be designated on the high school diplomas and
16transcripts of graduating public school pupils attaining
17proficiency in one or more languages in addition to English.
18    Section 5. The School Code is amended by adding Section
192-3.157 as follows:
20    (105 ILCS 5/2-3.157 new)
21    Sec. 2-3.157. State Seal of Biliteracy.
22    (a) In this Section, "foreign language" means any language
23other than English, including all modern languages, Latin,
24American Sign Language, Native American languages, and native



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2    (b) The State Seal of Biliteracy program is established to
3recognize public high school graduates who have attained a high
4level of proficiency in one or more languages in addition to
5English. The State Seal of Biliteracy shall be awarded
6beginning with the 2014-2015 school year. School district
7participation in this program is voluntary.
8    (c) The purposes of the State Seal of Biliteracy are as
10        (1) To encourage pupils to study languages.
11        (2) To certify attainment of biliteracy.
12        (3) To provide employers with a method of identifying
13    people with language and biliteracy skills.
14        (4) To provide universities with an additional method
15    to recognize applicants seeking admission.
16        (5) To prepare pupils with 21st century skills.
17        (6) To recognize the value of foreign language and
18    native language instruction in public schools.
19        (7) To strengthen intergroup relationships, affirm the
20    value of diversity, and honor the multiple cultures and
21    languages of a community.
22    (d) The State Seal of Biliteracy certifies attainment of a
23high level of proficiency, sufficient for meaningful use in
24college and a career, by a graduating public high school pupil
25in one or more languages in addition to English.
26    (e) The State Board of Education shall adopt such rules as



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1may be necessary to establish the criteria that pupils must
2achieve to earn a State Seal of Biliteracy, which may include
3without limitation attainment of units of credit in English
4language arts and languages other than English and passage of
5such assessments of foreign language proficiency as may be
6approved by the State Board of Education for this purpose.
7    (f) The State Board of Education shall do both of the
9        (1) Prepare and deliver to participating school
10    districts an appropriate mechanism for designating the
11    State Seal of Biliteracy on the diploma and transcript of
12    the pupil indicating that the pupil has been awarded a
13    State Seal of Biliteracy by the State Board of Education.
14        (2) Provide other information the State Board of
15    Education deems necessary for school districts to
16    successfully participate in the program.
17    (g) A school district that participates in the program
18under this Section shall do both of the following:
19        (1) Maintain appropriate records in order to identify
20    pupils who have earned a State Seal of Biliteracy.
21        (2) Make the appropriate designation on the diploma and
22    transcript of each pupil who earns a State Seal of
23    Biliteracy.
24    (h) No fee shall be charged to a pupil to receive the
25designation pursuant to this Section. Notwithstanding this
26prohibition, costs may be incurred by the pupil in



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1demonstrating proficiency, including without limitation any
2assessments required under subsection (e) of this Section.
3    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect July 1,