General Eikenberry Says Cuts to Language Learning Big Mistake

This article by retired Lieutenant General Karl Eikenberry is featured in the June 23 issue of Inside HigherEd. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Commission on Language Learning. He is concerned about the new federal budget which eliminates the funding for language learning in the Department of Education. Fluency in other languages is a national asset that cannot be directly measured, so it is always a tempting target for budget cutters. Now that we have a President who speaks in a grade school vocabulary, is anyone surprised? If I were in charge of education policy for Texas, every public school student would be required to take six years of Spanish in elementary school. Since the goals of our stated legislators are (1) to continually cut taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals and (2) to return our state to the imagined halcyon 1950s Ozzie and Harriet culture, I’m sure they will never do this.