Filipino Language Movement (FiLM)
GOVERNOR SIGNS ASSEMBLYWOMAN HORTON’S AB 420 HISTORIC BILL SAVES FILIPINO LANGUAGE CLASSES
(SACRAMENTO-CA) Assemblywoman Shirley Horton today announces the signing of her long- awaited, critical legislation authored to address a looming problem for the Filipino American community.
Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) California teachers must be credentialed in the subject they teach to be considered Â“highly qualified” in order to receive certain federal funds. Unfortunately, California did not offer an exam for educators to earn that credential for Filipino instruction. Unless the state began to develop an exam or adopt alternative assessments for these teachers, Filipino language classes would have been driven out of the state’s schools.
“AB 420 was vital legislation because the Filipino American people must be able to preserve their culture and heritage through language,” said Assemblywoman Horton. “Thanks to the unwavering dedication and hard work of community leaders, this bill is now an important new law.”
Horton’s Assembly Bill 420 requires the California Teacher’s Commission to establish guidelines for accepting alternative assessments performed by organizations that are expert in the language and culture assessed. Also, first priority will be given to those organizations expert in the Filipino language and culture.
“This is an incredible and historic time for the Filipino American community,” said Eleonor Castillo, president of the Filipino American Educators of San Diego County. “The passage of AB 420 marks a pivotal moment in our ongoing and collective effort toward the preservation of the Filipino language and culture. Furthermore, AB 420 honors and recognizes one of the greatest strengths of our nation: the multicultural and multilingual heritage of its people.”