Needs and Challenges
Develop and implement strategies to secure short-term and long-term funding for language access services.
Five years ago at the Summit, jurisdictions identified funding as a major priority area. Jurisdictions pointed to funding issues, in particular obtaining funding, as a major barrier to improving their language access services. Due to the ongoing economic crisis that was occurring at that time and the negative impact on court funding, prospects for funding support either through legislative, local, and/or national sources were inadequate. Participating and hosting entities, such as SJI and NCSC, voiced their commitment to supporting jurisdiction’s efforts to increase their funding.
The Summit dedicated extensive discussions on recommendations on strategies to obtain funding. Summit participants engaged in workshops and planning sessions where they prioritized areas and pinpointed initiatives in need of support, including both long-term and short-term funding.
Currently, just under half of jurisdictions (44%) report that they have received support in the form of grant funding. (Fig. Q29.) This is an increase of funding compared to five years ago when NCSC surveyed jurisdictions. In 2012, 36% of jurisdictions surveyed in the Pre-Summit Assessment reported receiving grant funding.
While the nation reportedly has now come out of the crisis coined the “Great Recession,” funding at local, state, and national levels remain challenging. Therefore, this reported rise in grant funding while only 8 percentage points is a significant showing, as support has not only remained steady but has actually increased. This continuity in support largely can be attributed to the efforts of SJI as described below.
Sources of Funding
Next, the survey identified the sources of funding. Jurisdictions reported receiving funding from three primary sources: SJI, local or national sources, and NCSC. Forty-three percent of jurisdictions reported in the survey that they received funding from SJI. SJI has had a significant impact on supporting jurisdictions across the country in funding areas that have led directly to improvements. SJI has carefully and thoughtfully identified areas of need to fund that would result in the greatest level of impact and progress.
Other sources of funding that jurisdictions listed were:
Type of Funding
Next, the survey sought to identify the types of funding that are available and have been awarded.
Q30 “What type of funding (i.e., project supported) have you received?”
Jurisdictions reported that they received funding that supported a variety of programs and projects, ranging from specific needs to program-wide needs. Funding was used toward training, interpreter recruiting, technical support, translation of documents, forms, and online resources, and general technical assistance projects.
Next, the survey assessed the impact on jurisdictions’ delivery of language access services due to funding.
Q32 Describe how funding has improved or advanced the delivery of
language access services that your jurisdiction provides:
The jurisdictions who received some form of support reported significant improvements attributable to the grants they have received. Jurisdictions described specifically how funding has improved or advanced the delivery of language access services. Notably, several states reported that grant funding helped them start or kick-off particular initiatives or programs:
Other improvements included training, recruiting efforts, translation of vital documents and forms, outreach efforts, among other initiatives:
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 A National Call to Action, p. 10.
 NCSC typically support provided through technical assistance funded by SJI or other funding sources.