French president Emmanuel Macron personally launched a new fund to support French-English bilingual programs in the U.S. on September 20 during his trip to New York for the opening of the UN General Assembly. Macron’s support of bilingual education has already been evidenced by his decision to “restore” bilingual classes in France.
The fund, which is supported by corporations including Chanel, Axa, Bic, and Best Buy, will provide $150,000 per year for five years to cover human and material needs for bilingual programs launched in public U.S. schools during the last few years. There are some 150 such programs across the country.
According to the French Embassy’s cultural counselor Bénédicte de Montlaur, “It’s about creating a support mechanism that can make the difference.” Schools benefiting from the fund, which has already reached $1.4 million, will be announced in October, so funding requests are required this month.
Funding specifically for the instruction of French teachers, of which there is a shortage despite the boom in bilingual programs, will also be offered.