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ESSA Title III

The purpose of the Title III, Part A program is to improve the education of English learners (ELs) by helping them learn English and meet challenging state academic standards. An EL can be any student who lists a language other than English on the home language survey, and qualifies for services base d on the W-APT or WIDA screener. ELs can be both immigrant and non-immigrant students. Additional information on Title IV can be found here.

Title III, Part A purposes are:

  • To ensure that ELs, including immigrant children and youth, attain English proficiency and develop high levels of academic attainment in English
  • To assist all ELs, including immigrant children and youth, to achieve at high levels in academic subjects to meet the Tennessee Academic Standards
  • To assist in establishing, implementing, and sustaining effective language instruction educational programs designed to assist in teaching ELs
  • To assist teachers (including pre-K teachers), principals, other school leaders, SEAs, and districts to develop and enhance their capacity to provide effective instructional programs for ELs
  • To promote parental, family, and community participation in language instruction educational programs for the parents, families, and communities of ELs

An overview on allowable and non-allowable activities under Title III is available here.

Title III of the ESSA requires that funds available under a subgrant be used to “supplement the level of federal, state, and local public funds that, in the absence of such availability, would have been expended for programs for [EL] students and immigrant students and youth and in no case to supplant such other federal, state, and local public funds.”

Title III funds may be used to pay for administrative costs to implement the Title III program. However, the amount of Title III funds which may be used to pay for administrative costs to implement the program must not exceed two percent of the program’s entitlement amount (carryover is not included when calculating the two percent maximum).

In calculating total administrative costs subject to the two percent limit, all appropriate direct costs (e.g., administrative salaries) must be included. If the district contracts with an outside vendor to provide Title III services, the district must require that the contractor break out administrative costs, which are also included within the two percent limit.

ESEA, Title III § 3115(b); Reauthorized under ESSA, Title III § 3115(b).

Title III funds must only be used to supplement the level of federal, state, and local public funds that, in the absence of such availability, would have been expended for programs for EL children.

Instructional Materials

Translation of instructional materials or instruction in a language other than English would not be an allowable use of Title III funds. This would fall under the district’s responsibility[1] to provide ESL services to ELs to help them overcome their language barriers and ensure that ELs have equal access to education and educational excellence.

General District Information

Translation of general information for the district (e.g., information for the Spanish language version of the district’s website, newsletter, or other communications; information related to the district data system; information related to the state’s achievement assessments; etc.) would also not be an allowable expenditure of Title III. These translations could possibly be funded through Title I.

Allowable Translation/Interpretation Uses for Title III

If the translation/interpretation is for a purpose above and beyond the level of other federal (including OCR and Title I, Part A), state, and local requirements, then this may be an allowable use of Title III funds.

Possible examples would be:

  • providing interpretation during a Title III parent involvement meeting
  • providing translations of materials to be used for supplemental parent classes.

Such examples may be allowable uses of Title III funds, provided that all supporting conditions are met. Allowable Title III translations are student or parent-centered communications that are outside the requirements for other title programs or OCR.