What the Feds Said About ‘Supplement Not Supplant’ for Title III

By Mary Ann Zehr — November 24, 2008 1 min read

I hope you’ve had a chance to read my reports on this blog of what officials from the U.S. Department of Education have been saying about the “supplement-not-supplant” provision of Title III, the section of the No Child Left Behind Act that authorizes funds for English-language-acquisition programs. The provision says that money from Title III can’t be used in place of money from local, state, or federal sources that would otherwise be spent on ELLs. Andrew Brownstein of Thompson Publishing Group has recently posted a report on the same topic, “Title III Supplanting Provisions Draw Questions.” (Hat tip to This Week in Education.) He picks up on one of the issues that I’ve reported on previously, that a number of states have been using Title III funds to pay for English-language-proficiency tests, and federal officials say that’s not allowed. For previously unreported details from a discussion that took place at a session of the LEP Partnership meeting on Oct. 15, such as how Title III funds can be used to pay for an ELL resource teacher, read the points with bullets at the end of Mr. Brownstein’s piece.

He notes that “a reporter” asked a question during the LEP Partnership meeting that caused many people in the room to laugh out loud. I was that reporter. I asked if the federal officials could tell me what Title III funds CAN be spent on, which was a simple question that hadn’t been answered well during the session. I guess people laughed at the question because it was so simple.

After the meeting, Education Department officials worked with me so that I could provide examples on my blog of what the money can be spent on.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.