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Bilingual Education & English as a New Language

Regulations Concerning English Language Learners and Multilingual Learners

Commissioner's Regulations Part 154 (CR Part 154)

In the landmark 1974 decision, Lau v. Nichols, the United States Supreme Court established the right of English Language Learner (ELL) students to have “a meaningful opportunity to participate in the educational program.” That same year, an agreement between the New York City Board of Education and ASPIRA of New York (called the ASPIRA Consent Decree) assured that ELL students would be provided Bilingual Education. As such, ELLs must be provided with equal access to all school programs and services offered to non-ELL students, including access to programs required for graduation. Education Law §3204 and Part 154 contain standards for educational services provided to ELL students in New York State.

In order to better serve the needs of New York State’s expanding multilingual population, the Department engaged stakeholders to enhance and strengthen programs and services required in Part 154 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.

On September 15, 2014, the Board of Regents adopted the Department’s proposed amendments to Part 154 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.

On November 17, 2014, the Board of Regents adopted the Department's proposal of Subpart 154-3 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.  This Subpart relates to the establishment of criteria for determining whether a student with a disability shall take the statewide English language proficiency identification and criteria for exiting students with disabilities from identification as an English Language Learner, effective December 3, 2014.

Due to the new provisions in CR Part 154:

  • We see that districts are now committed to finding innovative ways to ensure that ELLs are provided with the services that they need.
  • Districts throughout the state are ensuring that Bilingual Education programs are available, and we see a different level of urgency regarding the development of these programs.

Full Text of CR Part 154 Regulations:

Commissioners' Regulations Part 154-1 Full Text: Terms 154-1 Effective Through 2014-2015

Commissioner's Regulations Part 154-2 Full Text: Effective 2015-16 and After

Addition of Subpart 154-3 of the Commissioner’s Regulations (concerns ELLs with an IEP)

Resources and Guidance

CR Part 154-2 Units of Study Tables and Glossary

NEW! Guidance on Determining English Language Learner/Multilingual Learner (ELL/MLL) Status of and Services for Students with Disabilities (subpart 154-3) 

CR Part 154 Q&A

Past Updates to CR Part 154

Regulations as of July 2007 

Other Regulations

NYS Regulations on Identification and Services to ELL Students (CR Part 117)  Regulations governing initial identification and services to English Language Learner (ELL) students in New York State (October 2007).