Obtaining information about bilingual grants, programs, and other initiatives is much easier today than it was in the past thanks to the Internet. Federal, state, and local government agencies offer a surprising variety of information on their web sites. Those who do not own a computer can access these sites at any local public library. Following is a sampling of what is available.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Language Affairs (OBEMLA) is in charge of awarding Title VII grants to both state and local education agencies. There are 12 types of discretionary grants, which cover training, development, implementation, school reform programs, and foreign language instruction. These grants are awarded only to “education-related organizations.” Individuals are not eligible for Title VII grants. Those interested in applying for a Title VII grant can obtain the necessary information by visiting OBEMLA’s web site (http://www.ed.gov.offices/ OBEMLA)
A good beginning resource for anyone who wishes to find out about programs, grants, and other information on bilingual education and bilingual initiatives is the National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education (NCBE). Funded by OBEMLA, this organization collects and analyzes information and also provides links to other organizations. The NCBE web site (http://www.ncbe.gwu.edu) is a comprehensive starting point.
Each state’s Department of Education provides information on its statewide and local bilingual initiatives; the easiest way to find this information is to visit individual state education department web sites. Also, large cities such as New York, Miami, Houston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco provide information on their web sites about their comprehensive bilingual programs.