With the reauthorization of the Bilingual Education Act as Title III of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, federal bilingual funding has been converted from a direct competitive grant program to a State formula program. Funds are provided to states on a formula based on 80 percent on the number of English Language Learners) (ELLs) in the State and 20 percent on the number of immigrant children and youth in the State. NCLB Title III funds supplement local and State funds for bilingual education, and are intended to ensure that children and youth who are ELLs develop high levels of academic achievement and proficiency in the English language. Similarly, the program is designed to help these students meet the same challenging State academic standards as all children are expected to meet.
At the programmatic level, Title III funds are intended to supplement local and State funding of high-quality professional development for their instructional programs and teachers, so that they are better prepared to identify and address the needs of ELLs. This includes upgrading the qualifications and skills of non-certified educational personnel to enable them to meet high professional standards for education of these students. Professional development programs, as well as direct instructional programs for ELL students, must be based on scientifically based research that has proven to be effective in helping these students achieve at higher levels.
Funds are provided to local educational agencies (LEAs) to provide high-quality language instruction, educational programs, and high-quality professional development by carrying out one or more of the following activities:
- Language instruction programs and academic content instruction programs.
- Locally designed activities to expand or enhance existing language instruction
- educational programs and academic content instruction programs.
- Implementing, within an individual school, school-wide programs for restructuring,
- reforming, and upgrading academic content instruction.
- Implementing, within the entire LEAs, district wide programs for restructuring, reforming,
- and upgrading all relevant programs, activities and operations relating to language instruction, educational programs and academic content instruction.
NCLB Title III assessment and accountability requirements hold schools and districts accountable for achieving annual measurable objectives (AMAO's) for ELL students in attaining English proficiency. LEAs are required to provide informed parental notification (in the language that the parents understand) as to why their child is in need of placement in a specialized instruction program, and encourage parents to be active participants in their child's education.
LEAs are required to certify that all teachers in a language instruction program for LEP students are fluent in English and in any other language used by the program, including written and oral communication skills.
LEAs are required to develop a local plan that addresses the requirements of Title III and use funds to provide supplementary educational services to ELL students consistent with CR Part 154 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.
LEAs experiencing unexpectedly large increases in the number of immigrant students are eligible for Title III Immigrant funds. In addition to assisting immigrant students to learn English and attain high academic achievement, funds under this section of Title III are intended to help these students successfully transition into American society. These funds may also be used to underwrite activities to help the parents of immigrant students become active participants in the education of their children. Additionally, these funds may also be used to support the provision of training to educational personnel targeted to meet the special needs of immigrant children and youth.
Federal Statute: NCLB 2001, Title III, §3001