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Federal Funding Guide

ESEA TITLE III, PART A English Language Acquisition State Grants

$737.4M in funding is available to provide effective language instruction educational programs to improve the education of English learners and immigrant youth by helping them to learn English and meet the same challenging college- and career-ready academic standards as other students.
Published: August 20, 2020


$737.4M, allocated by formula and competitive


One or more LEAs, or one or more LEAs in consortia or collaboration with an IHE, educational service agency, community-based organization, or SEA; Indian tribes or tribal organizations, or schools operated or funded by the Bureau of Indian Education

Sample Use of Funds

  • Enhanced instructional opportunities for immigrant children and youth, which may include basic instructional services that are directly attributable to the presence of immigrant children and youth in the LEA involved, including the payment of costs of providing additional classroom supplies, costs of transportation, or such other costs as are directly attributable to such additional basic instructional services;
  • Improving the instruction of English learners, which may include English learners with a disability, by providing for access to, and participation in, electronic networks for materials, training, and communication;
  • Providing and implementing other effective activities and strategies that enhance or supplement language instruction educational programs for English learners, which shall include parent, family, and community engagement activities; and may include strategies that serve to coordinate and align related programs;
  • Improving the instruction of English learners, which may include English learners with a disability, by providing for the acquisition or development of educational technology or instructional materials;
  • Improving the English language proficiency and academic achievement of English learners; supporting strategies that promote school readiness of English learners and their transition from early childhood education programs, such as Head Start or State-run preschool programs, to elementary school programs.

For all uses of funds, see the complete ESSA Federal Funding Guide (PDF).

Key Provision: Counts

The Secretary may use American Community Survey (ACS) data provided by the Census Bureau, State-provided data, or data from a combination of these two sources, to determine the counts of both English learners and immigrant students. ESSA provided authority to implement the recommendations of a 2011 National Academy of Sciences study to use a combination of ACS data and Statereported data to determine each State’s English learners count and continue using ACS data for the State count of immigrant students.

For more information, contact Tom Zembar at 202.822.7109 or [email protected]

Next Steps

You have a right to know if your state or district applied for the funds and influence how they are spent. Most grants have already been disbursed to your state and district, but others may require an application.

Once you find a grant, make sure it’s appropriate for your intended use. Then, contact your local NEA Affiliate to organize an effort to hold your district and state accountable for how the money is used.

Are you an affiliate?

Jump to updates, opportunities, and resources for NEA state and local affiliates.
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