Title III is a part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA). The purpose of Title III is to help ensure that English learners (ELs) attain English language proficiency and meet state academic standards. Title III state formula grant funds are allocated directly to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and to LEAs with allocations of less than $10,000 via participation in consortia. Allocations are distributed via WISEgrants. LEAs that have had a significant increase in immigrant children and youth may be eligible to apply of the Title III Immigrant Children and Youth Discretionary Grant.
The ESEA has been amended several times since it was first signed into law, most notably by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001, which codified many of the EL-specific rules that we continue to follow today. In 2015 the ESEA was amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which further clarified our responsibilities as they pertain to ELs.
Title III State Formula Grant Program are distributed to LEAs based on the amount appropriate to Wisconsin as per ESEA and then allocated to districts on a per pupil count of the the number of identified English learners attending school within the LEA.
Under Title III states are required to demonstrate that EL students are proficient in state content and achievement standards in mathematics, reading or language arts, and science, and that these students are progressing in their proficiency of the English language. Funds are provided for supplemental activities to support instruction, family engagement, and professional development as well as other activities aimed at improving outcomes for English learners. The US Department of Education provides non-regulatory guidance for State Education Agencies (SEAs) and LEAs on the implementation of Title III:
To ensure that ELs are meeting these accountability metrics, Wisconsin has adopted the WIDA English Language Development Standards, and measures student achievement toward these standards through the annual administration of WIDA’s ACCESS for ELLs English language proficiency assessment. Progress towards meeting meeting the Title III purposes are part of the Department's ESEA Consolidated State Plan. Guidance for identifying, supporting, assessing, and reclassifying students as English Language proficient as per Wisconsin's approved ESEA Consolidated State Plan can be find within Wisconsin's EL Policy Handbook.