Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 was amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015. Title III was enacted to assist English Learners (ELs) attain language proficiency in English, as well as meet state academic standards. Therefore, as immigrant and EL parents are part of that matrix, it is important to include cultural family engagement. Additionally, including family engagement options in Spanish is OK too. Read on to learn more information about Title III and ways in which Title III can help provide cultural family engagement – even in Spanish.
On July 1st, 2017, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) was replaced by the ESSA. This act authorizes over $24.5 billion worth of funding for an array of educational programs. According to the act, Title III is meant to provide funds to support ELs and their families.
According to Trans Act, Title III has three funding requirements that it must adhere to:
1) Implement programs that encourage ELs to attain proficiency in English and the ability to gain knowledge of content and context.
2) Administer professional development to school administrators and teachers who work with EL students. These programs should provide strategies that help teachers and school administrators best meet the language and academic needs of ELs and their families.
3) Provide activities that help promote engagement in the lives and education of ELs – parental engagement and family engagement.
Title III Recommendations
As Title III provides EL students, as well as all parties involved in the education of Els, specialized programs, here are three recommendations to put Title III funds to good use:
1) School districts can create programs in which they utilize bilingual books to help ELs attain English proficiency. Using bilingual books helps ELs better understand the English portions of the story, as they are able to read it in their native language as well. Additionally, bilingual books allow for parents to be more involved in the education of their children because they are able to read in Spanish, their native language.
2) School districts can provide professional development opportunities with organizations such as The Latino Literacy Project, as they have conducted extensive research regarding ELs.
3) School districts can hire bilingual teachers or translators to speak directly to EL parents in Spanish. Communicating with parents in their native language is oftentimes the best route to go because they fully comprehend the conversation and what is expected of them. Additionally, EL parents feel more involved and integrated in the education of their children.