In 2008, the Utah Senate passed the International Initiatives (Senate Bill 41), creating funding for Utah schools to begin Dual Language Immersion programs in Chinese, French, and Spanish. In addition, then-Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. initiated the Governor’s Language Summit and the Governor’s World Language Council both with a goal to create a K-12 language roadmap for Utah. These groups aimed to address the needs for language skills in business, government, and education.
In 2010, current Governor Gary Herbert and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Larry Shumway issued a challenge to Utah educators to implement one hundred Dual Language Immersion programs throughout Utah by 2015, with a goal of enrolling 30,000 Utah students.
Due to the early success of the program and public demand, Governor Herbert and State Superintendent Shumway have moved the target completion date to 2014, with a continuing goal to mainstream Dual Language Immersion programs throughout the Utah public school system. Portuguese will be added to the program for the 2012-13 school year.