SECTION 1. Chapter 69 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2014 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding after section 1P a new section:
Section 1Q. The commissioner shall develop criteria and guidelines for a State Seal of Biliteracy to be awarded by school districts to recognize high school graduates who have met academic benchmarks, to be determined by the department, in one or more languages in addition to English. The purposes of the State Seal of Biliteracy are as follows: (1) To encourage students to study languages; (2) To certify attainment of biliteracy; (3) To provide employers with a method of identifying people with language and biliteracy skills; (4) To provide universities with a method to recognize and give academic credit to applicants seeking admission; (5) To prepare pupils with 21st century skills; (6) To recognize and promote foreign language instruction and native and heritage language instruction in public schools; (7) To strengthen intergroup relationships, affirm the value in diversity, and honor the multiple cultures and languages of the Commonwealth. The department shall be responsible for developing an appropriate insignia to be affixed to the diploma or transcript of the student indicating that the student has been awarded a State Seal of Biliteracy, and making said insignia available to school districts for the preparation of diplomas. In developing the guidelines for the State Seal of Biliteracy, the department shall consider the recommendations of the Massachusetts Foreign Language Association. A school district that participates in the program under this section shall: maintain appropriate records in order to identify pupils who have earned a State Seal of Biliteracy and affix the appropriate insignia to the diploma or transcript of each pupil who earns a State Seal of Biliteracy. State Seals of Biliteracy shall be available electronically. The department shall issue regulations or guidelines as necessary to implement the provisions of this act.
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