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Title III: Supplemental Supports for English Learners


Title III is a supplemental grant under the ESEA that is designed to improve and enhance the education of English learners (ELs) in becoming proficient in English, as well as meeting the Colorado Academic Content standards. The Title III Immigrant Set-Aside grant resides within this program and provides opportunities for LEAs to enhance the instructional opportunities for immigrant students and their families.

Program Requirements and Eligibility

Colorado’s Title III allocation is based on the number of ELs reported through the American Community Survey and U.S. Census data. CDE reserves 5% of its Title III allocation for the Immigrant Set-Aside grant (see corresponding guidance). Annual local education agency (LEA), including district or consortia, allocations are based on the number of English learners reported through the annual Student October Count. The previous Student October count informs the subsequent school year Title III allocation. An LEA or consortium allocation must meet or exceed $10,000 in order to apply for a Title III grant.

Title III grantees must submit a plan to CDE that describes:

  • proposed activities and programs that will expand, enhance,  or modify core English Language Development (ELD) and academic programs,
  • how proposed activities are supplemental to core ELD and academic programs,
  • the intended outcomes of the proposed activities and programs,
  • how the proposed activity will be utilized to increase language proficiency and provide equitable access to grade-level content,
  • how the LEA or consortium lead will provide professional development for increasing the capacity of principals and other school leaders, administrators, and instructional staff working with ELs, and
  • how the grantee will promote parent and community engagement.

Title III plans must include assurances that the:

  • grantee consulted with teachers, researchers, school administrators, parents and family members, community members, public or private entities, and institutions of higher education, in developing and implementing the Title III plan,
  • teachers in ELD programs are fluent in English and any other language used for instruction,
  • parent notification requirement are met,
  • grantee is not in violation of any State law, including State constitutional law, regarding the education of ELs, and
  • grantees will, if applicable, coordinate activities and share relevant data with local Head Start and Early Head Start agencies, and other early childhood education providers.

Parent Notification and Involvement

Title III grantees must notify parents if a student has been identified as an English learner.  This notification must be sent no later than 30 days after the beginning of the school year (CDE defines the date of October 1 for beginning of school year), and must include:

  • the process by which the child was identified,
  • the child’s level of English proficiency, how such level was assessed, and the status of the child’s academic achievement,
  • the programs offered by the district designed for English Learners,
  • how the programs will meet the educational strengths and needs of the child,
  • how the programs will specifically help their child learn English and meet age appropriate academic achievement standards,
  • the specific exit requirements of the programs, and,
  • how the program meets the objectives of an individualized education program, if applicable.

Notifications must be understandable and, to the extent practicable, in a language the parent can understand.

Detailed notification requirements are covered in the English Language Development Guidebook, Chapters 3 & 8.

A sample notification letter is available at Title III Resources and Guidance page.

Title III grantees must implement an effective means of outreach to parents of English learner students to inform them of how they can be:

  • involved in the education of their children, and
  • active participants in helping their children learn English, achieve at high academic levels, and meet the same challenging State academic and achievement standards all children are expected to meet.

Use of Funds

Grantees may not use more than two percent of annual allocations for administration of the Title III grant.  However, as a result of the ESSA changes, any funds the LEA reserves for administrative costs may be used only for direct administrative costs. This provides an LEA with flexibility to apply its restricted indirect cost rate to the portion of its subgrant that it does not reserve for administrative costs.

Supplement, Not Supplant
Title III funds must only be used to provide additional services, staff, programs, or materials that are not provided with State or local resources absent federal funds; federal funds cannot pay for resources that would otherwise be purchased with State and/or local funds.

Period of Availability 27 Months

LEAs and BOCES have 27 months (starting July 1st of each fiscal year) in which to expend allocated Title III funds.

Note: Expiring funds must be expended (paid for) (not encumbered, not obligated, and not contracted), no later than the date of expiration.

Months of October and November following expiration of grant funds is last month to draw down funds/request reimbursement from the Office of Grants Fiscal.

Once funds have expired, there is no recourse to recover the funds.

Equitable Services

Eligible private school students attending a non-public school may receive equitable services under Title III, Part A.  LEAs must ensure that timely and meaningful consultation occurs with appropriate private school officials with the goal of reaching agreement on how to provide equitable and effective programs for eligible students.

Required Activities                                                                     

  • Increasing the English language proficiency of ELs by providing effective language instructional education programs (LIEPs)/ELD programs that have successfully demonstrated increasing English language proficiency and academic achievement.
  • Providing effective professional development to classroom teachers, principals and other school leaders, administrators, and other school or community-based organizational personnel that relates directly to the instruction of ELs that support their linguistic, academic, and social-emotional challenges and opportunities of ELs.
  • Providing and implementing other effective activities and strategies that enhance or supplement LIEPS/ELD programs for ELs.  These activities and strategies must include parent, family, and community engagement activities, but may also include strategies that coordinate and align related programs.

Allowable Activities                                            

  • Upgrading ELD program objectives and effective instructional activities.
  • Improving ELD programs for ELs by supplementing curricula, instruction materials, and educational software and technology that improve content and language acquisition.
  • Providing community participation programs, family literacy services, and parent outreach and training activities to EL students and their families.
  • Providing tutoring and intensified instruction for EL students.
  • Offering early college high school or dual/concurrent enrollment programs or courses designed to help ELs achieve in postsecondary education.
  • Developing and implementing effective preschool, elementary or secondary school ELD programs that are coordinated with other relevant programs and services.
  • Improving instruction for EL students, including EL students with a disability or identified as gifted in a specific area.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Monitoring of federal programs is conducted to ensure that: (1) every child has a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education; (2) programs comply with federal requirements that are most closely related to positive outcomes for students; and (3) taxpayer dollars are administered and used in accordance with how Congress and the United States Department of Education intended. 


For Additional Information Contact:

Office of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education
Title III Coordinator

Morgan Cox
Send an email to Morgan Cox

Office of Elementary Secondary and Education Act Title III EL Specialist  

Rachel Temple
Send an email to Rachel Temple