Posted September 23, 2016Education Week
States and school districts that get federal funding to support students who are English-language learners, can use that money to support long-term ELLs and ELLs in special education, as well as to help figure out how those students are progressing, according to new Every Student Succeeds Act guidance released by the U.S. Department of Education Friday.
The guidance also makes it clear that districts and states can use their English Language Acquisition grants — provided through a $737 million program also known as Title III of — for many of the same purposes as they did under No Child Left Behind. That’s true even though schools’ accountability for ensuring ELLs progress in their English-proficiency has moved to Title I of the law, along with accountability for all other groups of kids
That means that states are allowed to use their Title III funds to help identify ELLs who are struggling, make sure their English-language proficiency tests match up with English-language proficiency standards, and align state content standards with English-language proficiency standards. And districts can use Title III funds to help notify parents that their child is an English-learner.
States and districts can also use their Title III money to help meet some new transparency and reporting requirements in ESSA that are aimed at getting a better understanding of ELLs and former ELLs.