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Title III of the Every Student Succeeds Act: Summary & Provisions

Instructor: Yolanda Reinoso Barzallo

Yolanda holds a CELTA Cambridge, a Juris Doctorate, and a Master of Public Administration. She is a published author of fiction in Spanish.

This lesson gives you an overview of Title III under the federal law Every Student Succeeds Act. Title III has provisions regarding English language learners across the country.

History of ESSA

Before we go into Title III of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), let's learn a bit about its evolution.

Back in 1965, we had the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The whole purpose of this law, which remains today, was to regulate funding for school programs across the country so that all students access good school services. ESEA later got reauthorized during the Bush administration, which renamed it the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Most recently, in December 2015, the NCLB was reauthorized again under the new name Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

However, it is not only the name of the law what changed. With each reauthorization, the ruling administration was able to add provisions to each Title of the law depending on the country's new educational needs.

Title III of ESSA?

ESSA has a total of eight titles. You can think about titles as slices of the same cake. Title III has its own name, which is Language Instruction for English Learners and Immigrant Students. This means that Title III regulates the main aspects that have to do with English language sessions that schools provide to students whose first language is not English. Under ESSA, Title III changes in two main ways:

  • The accountability measures for ELL (English language learners) programs move to Title I. Thus, the statewide accountability system must include the performance of ELLs as part of the overall English proficiency for each state. In other words, before ESSA, all schools had to provide a separate report to their Department of Education. The report included specific information about the results of English language learners programs through scores English learners would get. Nowadays, schools simply include such results within the overall performance of their school; there is no separate report anymore.
  • The second main change is the increase in funding available to develop ELL programs.

Summary of Provisions under Title III

There are a few key provisions regarding ELL programs under Title III. The major considerations are funding, purpose, eligibility, reporting, and procedures for ELL programs.

Before we begin, let's clarify a couple of terms you need to be familiar with. First, we have local educational agencies (LEAs), which are school districts. Second, we have state education agencies (SEAs) , which are simply the different state departments of education.

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