Tom Taylor Sponsored HB 879: “Seal of Biliteracy” on diplomas of graduates who study foreign language

Thanks to all who co-sponsored, lobbied, and did a lot of the legwork and research that made this possible.  The article is correct, this “sailed through” because of the close collaboration and coordination of efforts.  Congratulations to all involved, great example of a real bipartisan effort that moves our state forward.

–Tom Taylor


Georgia is one of only 18 states that has approved similar legislation that underscores the importance of learning a foreign language “to succeed in a global economy.”

Today’s students “will need to possess a new set of skills that were not required for the success of prior generations of Americans,” the bill’s promotional materials stated. “Regional expertise, cross-cultural expertise, cross-cultural competence, and advanced language proficiency are no longer skills reserved only for those who plan of a career overseas – they are skills that will enhance any career field, encourage investment in our state and develop a workforce that is successful in working on diverse international teams to collaborate and solve problems.”

State Rep. Tom Taylor of Dunwoody, the lead sponsor of the bill and also a member of the Economic Development and Tourism Committee, explained that it passed so easily with a lone dissenter in the Senate and only a handful of dissenters in the House, because for a recipient to receive the seal he or she must pass rigorous English requirements.

With overseas experience working for several defense companies in Japan, he said that he actively promoted the bill because he had experienced how his mastery of Japanese enabled him to perform in a way that many of his co-employees could not.

Read the entire article here.