Reprinted from The Huffington Post:
Developments in social science, global trends and demographics all reinforce the significant benefits of bilingual education. Despite that, American schools show a steady decline in language programs. How can this be?
First, let's look at the conditions for bilingualism. There have always been benefits to being able to speak more than one language; recent studies show the depth of those benefits: "Being bilingual, it turns out, makes you smarter. It can have a profound effect on your brain, improving cognitive skills not related to language and even shielding against dementia in old age."
See original article for more information.