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The vision for this policy priority is to build on recent policy wins, including Proposition 58, the English Learner Roadmap, and Global California 2030. Every child in California should be afforded the opportunity to learn English and an additional language with an explicit focus on English learners.

As a coalition, we are committed to shifting public opinion and promoting biliteracy as an asset, building a compelling narrative about the multiple benefits of bilingualism, and providing resources, legislation, and strategies to assist in the implementation of high quality biliteracy programs across the Birth to Higher Education system.

State Seal of Biliteracy

In 2008 Californians Together developed the concept of a Seal of Biliteracy and worked throughout the state to help school sites, districts and others adopt and implement the Seal. In 2012, California became the first state in the nation to award a state Seal of Biliteracy to graduating seniors with demonstrated proficiency in two or more languages. This groundbreaking step was an acknowledgement of the economic and social value of multilingualism, the realities of a global century, and of the high level of academic achievement associated with attaining literacy in multiple languages.

Following California’s lead—today all 50 states and the District of Columbia award their own Seal of Biliteracy.  The California Department of Education awards Biliteracy Recognition Awards to pre-k, kindergarten, 5th and 8th grade students.

To learn more, visit the California Department of Education State Seal of Biliteracy website here and


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State Policy Impact

Updated the criteria required to obtain the State Seal of Biliteracy to make it equitable for all students to obtain, while creating a clear path for all participating Local Educational Agencies to implement. The new criteria expands the options for students to show proficiency in English, removes irrelevant testing criteria from the world language options and honors courses taken outside of the country that have the adequate rigor. In 2024, we celebrate that all 50 states have adopted a State Seal of Biliteracy!

AB 815 (Brownley) established the state Seal of Biliteracy Program to recognize high  school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading and writing in one or more languages in addition to English.  The State Seal of Biliteracy shall be awarded by the State Superintendent of Instruction when students meet the criteria contained in the legislation.  There are 31 states including California plus the District of Columbia Public Schools with a formal State Seal of Biliteracy Program.

AB 1142 was signed into law September 1, 2017. This legislation revises the criteria for the State Seal of Biliteracy by: 1) Updating the English Language Arts and English Language Proficiency scores related to the CAASPP and ELPAC assessments, 2) Including granting a Seal of Biliteracy to a student speaking a native or indigenous language that doesn’t have a written system and 3) Indicating a level of oral language proficiency when qualifying by studying four years of a world language with a 3.0 GPA or better.