The Title III State Formula Grant Program, administered by the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE), is designed to improve the education of English learners (ELs). Title III funds may be used to provide supplemental services that improve the English language proficiency and academic achievement of ELs. All services provided to ELs using Title III funds must supplement, and not supplant, the services that must be provided to ELs under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974 (EEOA), and other requirements, including those under state or local laws.
The state educational agency (SEA) receives funds for both Title III state formula grants and grants for immigrant children and youth based on the number of ELs and immigrant children and youth in the state. The SEA reserves a small percentage of its grant to carry out state-level activities and uses the rest to make sub-grants to individual local educational agencies (LEAs) or to consortia. Those subgrantees use the funds to implement programs designed to help EL students achieve both English language proficiency and academic standards in reading/language arts, mathematics, and science. Approaches and methodologies used must be effective. Subgrantees may develop and implement new language instruction educational programs (LIEPs) and expand or enhance existing programs. Subgrantees also may implement school-wide programs within individual schools or implement system-wide programs to restructure, reform, or upgrade all programs, activities, or operations related to the education of their EL students.
Prior to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a subgrantee was required to use its Title III funds for two required activities: professional development and providing an LIEP. Now, subgrantees must also conduct a third activity: providing and implementing other effective activities and strategies that enhance or supplement LIEPs for ELs, which must include parent, family, and community engagement activities, and may include strategies that serve to coordinate and align related programs. ESSA also adds a number of new permissible activities under Title III, including, for example, uses related to developing or implementing LIEPs in preschools that are coordinated with other relevant programs and services, and offering early college high school or dual or concurrent enrollment programs or courses designed to help ELs achieve success in postsecondary education.