The U.S. Department of Education announced this week that it will provide $754,415 to the National Academy of Sciences to examine how federal funds under Title III of the No Child Left Behind Act can best be distributed to states. Title III is the section of the law that authorizes funds for English-language-acquisition programs.
A December 2006 report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office recommended that the Education Department take a closer look at how Title III money is given out to states. The National Academy of Sciences is charged with evaluating the accuracy of the two sources of data used for determining the number of ELLs in a state. Those sources are the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey data or state-reported data based on the number of ELLs who participate in state English-language-proficiency testing.
The announcement of the contract award came only days after the federal government issued new guidance clarifying that states may not use Title III funds to replace money that would otherwise be channeled to ELLs.
Next week, I hear there’s going to be more action by the federal government regarding this part of NCLB. But I do wonder why it’s taken this administration so long to act on some of these persistent issues concerning implementation of Title III. I’ll keep you posted.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.