Policy Overview

Part A of Title III is officially known as the English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement Act. Title III is a part of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 proposed and signed into law by the George W. Bush Administration. It is specifically targeted to benefit Limited English Proficient (LEP) children and immigrant youth. The Act states that LEP students must not only attain English proficiency but simultaneously meet the same academic standards as their English-speaking peers in all content areas. Federal funding is provided to assist State Education Agencies (SEAs) and Local Education Agencies (LEAs) in meeting these requirements. In 2011, Title III awards were granted to 56 SEAs (including states, districts, and territories) and the average award given to an individual SEA was $12,158,046

SEAs and LEAs are expected to use Title III funding to create or further develop language instruction courses that help LEP students meet academic standards. The LEAs and SEAs who receive Title III funding are responsible for the yearly progress of their students with respect to development of language proficiency as well as meeting their grade-level academic standards. LEP students are measured against annual development objectives in order to receive funding. SEAs and LEAs are held accountable for the progress of LEP and immigrant students through annual measurable achievement outcomes (AMAOs): the number of LEP students making sufficient progress in English acquisition, attaining English proficiency, and meeting Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) Funding is typically used towards language instruction programs; however, funding may be used for a variety of purposes, including alternative bilingual education programs and professional development for teachers.Funding is also allocated for teaching English to the parents and communities of LEP children.

The amount of funding each state receives is determined by formula derived from the number of LEP and immigrant students in that state. The number of LEP students in each state is determined using information provided by the US census as well as yearly state-issued surveys. The grant is divided into subgrants made available to LEAs within the state. In order for an LEA within a given state to receive Title III funding, it must reapply each school year, providing data with respect to the size and progress of the LEP population.

While the main purpose of Title III regulations and funding are to ensure language proficiency and on grade-level academic performance of LEP students, there are also regulations regarding parent communication. Any LEA that receives Title III funding is obligated to inform families and communities of LEP and immigrant children about their ESL programming and how they can assist in their child's progress. In addition, all schools (whether or not they receive Title III funding) are required to provide appropriate communication with all parents and guardians regardless of their native language and the percentage of non-English parents are a part of the school community.

Title III funds are available to public schools, including charter schools. Private schools are not eligible for Title III funds; however, LEP students who attend private school may still enroll in Title III funded English classes at their local public school.