ESL Programs and Services

Community Services

Northeastern Educational Intermediate Unit 19
Title III Procedures and Responsibilities

NEIU accepts Title III funds in a consortium with 19 public schools.  The districts participating are Abington Heights, Blue Ridge, Carbondale, Dunmore, Elk Lake, Forest City, Lackawanna Trail, Lakeland, Mid Valley, Montrose Area, Mountain View, North Pocono, Old Forge, Riverside, Susquehanna Community, Valley View, Wallenpaupack, Wayne Highlands, and Western Wayne.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education describes Title III regulations.  More detailed information may be found by clicking here.

Title III Consortium Guidelines
Under Section 3114(b) of NCLB Act of 2001, a state educational agency (SEA) shall not award a Title III subgrant to a local educational agency (LEA) if the amount is less than $10,000. Local educational agencies that do not meet the $10,000 threshold may form a consortium to qualify for these funds.

Supplement versus Supplant
Title III funds must be used to supplement the level of Federal, State, and local funds that, in the absence of Title III funds, would have been expended for programs for Limited English Proficient students and Immigrant Children and Youth. (Section 3115) (g)

Guiding Questions

  • What is the instructional program/service provided to all students?
  • What does the LEA do to meet Lau requirements?
  • What services are the LEA required by other Federal, State and local laws or regulations to provide?
  • Was the program/.service previously provided with Federal, State, and local programs?

Non-Public and Private School Participation
The LEA maintains the final responsibility for ELL identification and eligibility for Title III supplemental programs.  The LEA is obliged to assess the English Language Proficiency of Non-Public students.

The Non-public/Private LEA is not obligated to provide a Core program as per Chapter 4.26.

Timely and Meaningful Consultation

LEAs must provide a genuine opportunity for all parties:

  • to express their views and have them seriously considered
  • to discuss viable options for ensuring Equitable Participation of Non-Public school students, teachers and other education personnel
  • LEAs responsible to initiate contact and consultation
  • Initial consultation should take place prior to the design and development of the Title III program
  • Consultation should be regular and ongoing


  • Send letter to schools within the geographic boundaries served by the LEA
  • Meet and discuss
  • Determine equitable services based on funding
  •     Consultation Requirements
  • How needs of LEP students will be identified
  • What supplemental services will be offered
  • How, where and by whom supplemental services will be provided
  • Assessment of supplemental services and use of assessment results to improve services
  • Size and scope of services to be offered to private school students and educators
  • Amount of funds available
  • Delivery of supplemental services

Equitable services and participation
Equitable participation is considered equitable if the LEA:

  • Assesses, addresses and evaluates the needs and progress of public and private school students and educational personnel in the same manner
  • Provides in the aggregate, approximately the same amount of services to students and educational personnel to students with similar needs
  • Spends an equal amount of funds to serve similar public and private school students and educational personnel
  • Provides both groups of students and educational personnel equal opportunities to participate in program activities
  • Equitable supplemental services
  • Supplemental services do not have to be identical to those provided to public school students and educators
  • Supplemental services must be equitable and timely and address private school student and educator needs

Funds are based on private school student numbers, the same as funds for public school children

Provision of Supplemental services

  • The LEA employs or third party LEA contractors must provide the supplemental services
  • The LEA may not give funds directly to the Non-public school, the LEA must retain control of the funds
  • The non-public entity receives services and other benefits:
  • Administration of ELP assessment for identification and evaluation of services
  • Tutoring before, during or after school
  • Participation in summer programs or weekend programs
  • Participation of educational personnel in District professional development or professional development specific to the needs of the non-public educational personnel.

The LEA maintains the final responsibility for ELL identification and eligibility for Title III supplemental programs.  The LEA is obliged to assess the English Language Proficiency of Non-Public students.

Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives
Non-Public schools are not required to meet the Title III AMAOs, BUT this must be determined at the time of consultation and be part of the written agreement.

Student Count for Non-Public Schools
LEAs shall include currently identified ELLs in private schools by including the student count on the designated screen in the LEP system.
LEAs can not anticipate future student counts and may only report currently identified ELLs for Title III funding.

Program Description:
Title III is a 100% federally funded supplemental program that concentrates on delivering language instruction educational programs to students who have a primary language other than English This program is designed to improve the education of limited English proficient (LEP) children and youths by helping them learn English and meet challenging state academic content and student academic achievement standards  The program also provides enhanced instructional opportunities for  immigrant children and youths.

Title III LEP funding shall:
1. Increase the English language proficiency of ELLs, as demonstrated by student achievement.
2. Provide high quality professional development (PD).
***These are required activities***

Title III Authorized Activities for LEP Funding:

  • Curricular materials
  • Technology
  • Intensify instruction
  • Support personnel
  • Tutorials, mentoring, academic or career counseling
  • Community programs/services
  • Parent involvement/outreach
  • Supplemental instructional services
  • Family literacy services





1. Identify

• OCR 1970 Memo

• Lau v Nichols 1974

• Supreme Court decision

• Home language survey

• Train intake staff

• Classroom survey

2. Assess

• Determine need for instruction

• Place in appropriate program of

• instruction

• Office of Civil Rights 1970 Memo

• Gomes v Illinois State Board of Education 1987

• U.S. Court of Appeals, 7* Circuit

• Appropriate proficiency test (W-APT)

• Multiple criteria for placement/exemption

• Identify home language proficiency

• Diagnose mathematics skills/literacy

• Investigate prior schooling experience

3. Provide Instruction

• Direct, appropriate, sufficient

• Designed for students’ needs

• Based on current practices

• Appropriate staffing

• Appropriate materials

• Castaneda v Pickard 1981

• U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit

• Equal Education Act 1974

• Titles VI& VII of Civil Rights Act 1964

• Rios v Read 1977

• Cintron v Brentwood 1977, 1978

• Gomez v Illinois State

• Board of Education 1987

• U.S. Court of Appeals, 7lh Circuit

• The Provision of an Equal Education Opportunity

 to Limited English Proficient Students OCR, 1992

• Develop Instructional Plan

  – Schedule Daily Instruction

  – Hire/Contract Qualified Teachers

  – Assessment plan

  – Research-Based ESL best practices

  – Identify what is taught (curriculum)

  – Identify appropriate materials

  – Describe Available Opportunities (Tutoring,

    Afterschool, programs, etc.)

  – Train and support staff (Professional

     Development Plan)

4. Ensure integration

• Instructional integration

• Social integration

• Titles VI & VII of Civil Rights Act 1964

• Equal Education Act 1974

• Office of Civil Rights 1970 Memo

• Lau v Nichols 1974 Supreme Court decision

• Describe access to programs and services (Gifted,

 Extra Curricular, Special Education, Vocational, etc.)

• Ensure accommodations for Language Proficiency

• Identify how integrated with same-age peers

• Communicate levels and needs to relevant staff

• Communicate with Parents in Preferred Mode

5. Re-Assess

• For progress

• To exit a program

• Monitor exited students

• OCR 1970 Memo

• Rios v Read 1977

• Cintron v Brentwood 1977,1978

• Specific multi-criteria reclassification procedures

• PA Exit Criteria

• Monitoring plan/documentation

6. Document

• Instruction

• Student Achievement

• Program Compliance

• Program Effectiveness

• Castañeda v Pickard 1981

• U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit

• The Provision of an Equal Education Opportunity

 to Limited English Proficient Students OCR, 1992

• Develop Program Guide

• Develop record keeping plan

• Appoint team to implement program evaluation

• Schedule Program Evaluation and periodic data review

Title III Immigrant Funds
ONLY LEAs with a SIGNIFICANT INCREASE in Immigrant Children and Youth (ICY) receive funding for required and authorized activities for ICY.  ICY funds are found on the rider of the Title III application funding agreement.
– Significant increase: LEAs with at least a 10% increase in ICY students that includes at least 10 additional students.
• LEAs must be able to report on required and authorized activities conducted with LEP and/or ICY funds.

Title III definition of “Eligible Immigrant Student”
An individual student who:
(a) is aged three through twenty-one;
(b) is enrolled in any public school or private elementary or secondary school in kindergarten through grade 12;
(c) was not born in the United States (or any U.S.Territory); and
(d) has not been attending schools in the United States for more than three full school years. (Title III, Section 3301(6))

Appropriate Uses of Immigrant Funds
Activities that provide enhanced instructional opportunities for immigrant children and youth.
• Support for personnel, including teacher aides specifically trained (or are being trained) to provide services to immigrant children and youth.
• Activities coordinated with community-based organizations, institutions of higher education, private sector entities or other entities to assist parents by offering comprehensive community services

Authorized Activities for Immigrant Children and Youth (ICY) Funding:

  • Family Literacy, Parent Outreach and Training Activities
  • Support For Personnel
  • Provision of Tutorials, Mentoring, and Academic or Career Counseling
  • Identification and Acquisition of Curricular Materials
  • Basic Instructional Services That Are Directly Attributable to the
  • Presence of Immigrant Children and Youth in the School District
  • Other Instruction Services
  • Activities, Coordinated With Community-based Organizations, Institutions of Higher Education, Private Sector Entities, or Other Entities with Expertise in Working With Immigrants
  • The above need to be in addition to LEP activities.

Title III – LEA Parent Involvement Activities For Both LEP and ICY Funds Section 3302(e) requires that Title III-funded LEAs implement…
an effective means of outreach to parents of LEP children to inform such parents of how they can (A) be involved in the education of their children; and (B) be active participants in assisting their children to learn English, achieve at high levels in core academic subjects, and meet the same State content and achievement standards all children are expected to meet.

Parent Notification Requirements (Section 3302)
– must be provided by LEAs “…in an understandable and uniform format and, to the extent practicable, in a language that the parents can understand” to parents of all children identified for participation in, or participating in Title III.
– must be notified of identification for and placement in a language instruction educational program, and
– must be notified of LEA failure to meet Title III annual measurable achievement objectives (AMAOs) if applicable

Parents of LEP children, whose children have been identified for participation in or already participating in Title III, must be annually notified regarding:
1. reasons for identification of their child as LEP
2. child’s level of English language proficiency
3. method of instruction in currently available programs
4. how the program will meet the needs of the child, help their child learn English & meet State standards
5. exit requirements, rate of transition
6. in the case of a child with a disability, how such a program meets the objectives of the child’s IEP program

Parent Notification Requirements
Parent notification of student identification for placement in, or participating in Title III Supplemental Programs must take place within 30 days after the beginning of the school year and within 14 days of enrollment within the LEA during the school year.
Title III 20 USC 7012 Section 3302 Parental Notifications

Parents may…
• Have the right to immediately remove their child from the Title III supplementary program upon their request.
• Have the right to decline enrollment in the Title III supplementary program or choose another program or method of instruction, if available.
• Request the LEA’s assistance in selecting among various programs and methods of instruction offered by Title II

Parent Notification Requirement
• A separate parent notification is required when an LEA fails to meet AMAOs in any fiscal year.
• Parents must be notified no later than 30 days after the failure is officially reported to the LEA.
• The notice must be provided in an understandable format and, to the extent practicable, in a language the parent can understand.
Title III 20 USC 7012 (b)(c)

Suggestions for Locating Translation/Interpretation Services
• Highly-qualified bilingual interpreters and translators
– Bilingual community leaders and parents
– College bilingual international students
• Interpretation services are also available, at a cost, through conference calls through Language Line and

Please note!
• It is inappropriate to use bilingual students to provide such services
• Free computer translation options still have great limitations

First Step in Family Engagement: Understanding ELL and Immigrant Families Education level
• Level of language proficiency
• Support system/group
• Socioeconomic status
• Degree of integration into mainstream American life

Key Point Immigrant Families are a Heterogeneous Group
•Years of residency in the US does NOT determine the stage of involvement.
• Parent involvement stages are fluid.
• Support to immigrant families should be determined by their stages of parent involvement.
– Cultural survivors need more intense support to meet basic needs.
–Workshops and outreaches to parents need to look different at each stage.

Evaluation and Assessment
LEAs will hold its schools accountable for meeting the annual measurable achievement objectives; make adequate yearly progress for Limited English Proficient (LEP) children; and annually measure the English proficiency of all LEP children.

Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAOs) are determined using these components:
• Annual increase in the percentage of ELs making progress in learning English.
• Annual increase in the percentage of ELs attaining English proficiency.
• Making AYP targets in reading and math, attendance, and graduation for the EL subgroup.
The determination of whether a Title III consortium meets AMAOs is done at the consortium level. Accountability for meeting the AMAOs as a consortium is determined by the overall performance of ELs of all member districts of the consortium for all three AMAOs (Sections 1111(b)(C), 3114(a), 3122(b) and 3141.

Parent Notification
The fiscal agent must ensure that parents of ELLs are notified of their children being placed in language instruction educational program and if the consortium fails to meet the AMAOs in any given year. The fiscal agent may either delegate this responsibility to the member districts, or the fiscal agent may choose to notify all the parents of ELLs served by the consortium.
Title III Improvement Plan
A consortium that fails to meet AMAO targets for two consecutive years must develop an improvement plan that addresses factors that prevented the consortium from meeting AMAO targets. It is the responsibility of the fiscal agent to develop the improvement plan in collaboration with its member districts and submit it to the SEA. The plan should specify the responsibilities of both the fiscal agent and the member districts with regard to developing and implementing the improvement plan.


Nine school districts comprise the NEIU ESL Consortium.  Member schools districts are: Carbondale Area, Dunmore, Lackawanna Trail, Lakeland, Mid Valley, North Pocono, Old Forge, Riverside, and Valley View.

Detailed Information pertaining to the laws and requirements are included in the Basic Education Circular 22 PA. Code 4.26.

The ESL Program provides daily planned instruction in English by a certified ESL teacher, and planned instruction in the content areas adapted to the proficiency levels of the English language learners (ELLS) based on the WIDA CAN DO Descriptors, ELP Standards, PA Academic Standards to ELLs identified and placed in the program using multiple criteria, including W-APT and WIDA ACCESS data. Content and ESL Teachers collaborate to design culturally responsive instruction, support parent communication and adapt instruction. ELLs must participate in the full general education curriculum.

Planned Instruction for English Language Acquisition Classes (ESL)

  • Language instruction must be commensurate with the student’s proficiency level
  • ESL instruction must be aligned with PA English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPs) for ELLs and Pennsylvania’s Reading Writing, Speaking and Listening Standards.
  • Instruction must meet all requirements under Lau vs. Nichols, 414 US 563 (1974) and Castaneda vs. Pickard, 648 F. 2d 989 (1981)
  •  ESL instruction must be of sufficient time and intensity.

Planned Instruction in Academic Content Area Classes

  • The language instructional program must also provide ELLs with meaningful comprehensible access to standards-based instruction in all content areas.
  • Content area instruction must be aligned with the student’s proficiency level
  • The PA ELPs Pre-k to 12 are an overlay to the academic standards and must be incorporated in planned instruction for ELLs by all teachers.