Title III: Language Instruction for English Learners & Immigrant Students

The Bureau of Federal Educational Programs welcomed the Title III program in 2021.

Title III is a federal entitlement through ESSA that focuses on supplemental services for English Language Learners (ELLs) and recently arrived immigrants. The purpose of Title III funding is to provide student support for language acquisition and student achievement. Similar to other ESSA entitlement grants, the funding allocations are based on district student population. However, both grants have additional qualifying criteria or specific guidelines, such as a cap on indirect cost, threshold restrictions or distinct identification criteria.

ELLs account for almost ten percent of the student population in Florida public schools. With over 280,000 students identified as second language learners, Florida ranks third in ELL population. Although Spanish is the predominant language spoken by ELLs by far (almost 75%), our ELLs speak more than 300 languages.

The primary focus of the ESOL and Title III programs is to ensure that our ELLs are learning English while meeting rigorous state content area standards. In accordance with ESSA guidelines, our ELLs are assessed annually on English listening, speaking, reading and writing skills through the ACCESS for ELLs suite of assessments developed through the WIDA consortium.

The WIDA Consortium is a member-based organization made up of U.S. states, territories and federal agencies dedicated to the research, design, implementation and assessment of a high quality, standards-based system for K-12 English language learners.