Allowable Uses of K-12 Title III Part A LEP Funds

Find out what you can use Title III funds for.


Title III, Part A funds are based on the English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement Act. These funds offer much less flexibility than other Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) funding streams such as Title I, and guidance from the federal and state governments is confusing at times.

Title III, Part A guidance states the following purposes for these funds:

  • Improve the education of English Learners (EL) and immigrant children/youth by assisting students to learn English and meet challenging state academic standards
  • Encourage parent, family and community involvement in language instruction programs
  • Create, implement, enhance, streamline and sustain language instruction educational programs for Limited English Proficient (LEP) and immigrant students
  • Hold local education agencies (LEAs) and schools accountable for improvements in English proficiency and core academic knowledge for LEP students
  • Provide flexibility for LEAs “to implement the most effective language instruction programs” based on scientific research

Title III absolutely cannot be used to supplant other local, state, or federal funds and must go above and beyond what is already offered to all students. Funds are supplemental, and if state law requires a program activity, Title III funds cannot be used.

What Does Title III Part A Allow?

It’s very difficult to decipher which staff position salaries can be included in the grant due to caveats such as: “In the absence of Title III funds, the LEA would be required to complete the activities in the job description anyway.” Often, it is easier to find what is not allowable, rather than what is allowable. I find the grant frustrating to write, manage and explain to school personnel how best to use the funds.

Let’s dig in with some examples of allowable uses of Title III funds. I hope you find these helpful:

  • Newsletters for parents of EL students only (cannot send to non-EL student families, Title I families or all students in a school)
  • Summer school classes (not for credit recovery)
  • English Language Development (ELD) paraprofessional for small group instruction
  • Laptops, charging carts and other technology for EL students only (if not purchased through other state, local or federal funds)
  • Night of calling EL parents (pay staff for extra duty outside of regular school day)
  • Parent nights to train EL families on Unite for Literacy, Google Translate, etc.
  • English language instruction classes for parents of EL students
  • Push in/pull out (outside regular day instructional services)
  • Parent Liaison
  • Family game nights (supplies, stipends)
  • Make & Take games or purchase games
  • Pay outside vendor for printing EL newsletters or purchase paper to print at school
  • Headphones for Rosetta Stone
  • Rosetta Stone tip sheets for families of EL students
  • Rosetta Stone or Grammar Gallery for EL students only (no supplanting)
  • English/Spanish dictionaries for ACT (if buying them for 1st time ever)
  • Saturday, before or after school tutoring for EL students only
  • Coaching/mentoring EL teachers
  • Support parent resource centers
  • Professional development for regular classroom instructional staff, administrators, ESL teachers, EL teachers and representatives from community-based educational organizations on topics such as effective EL instructional strategies, understanding EL assessments, ELD standards, alignment of curriculum/state standards and subject matter knowledge for instructional staff
  • Purchasing or upgrading EL curriculum, instructional materials, instructional software and assessment procedures
  • Vocational education for EL students
  • Attendance at EL related conferences/workshops plus travel expenses
  • Books for EL family engagement workshops
Technology Purchases & Other Tips

Be very careful with Title III technology purchases. For example, if purchasing document cameras for EL classroom instruction, ensure you have never purchased document cameras for other classrooms through any other funding sources such as Title I or Title IV-A. Also, technology can be used for EL instructional staff professional development or with families of EL students if not being used by EL students during the school day. In other words, do not take laptops from EL students in the classroom to use for other purposes during the regular school day.

Keep a current, updated inventory of all technology items, including serial numbers, funding stream it was purchased with, and where it is located.

Note that the term LEP is being replaced by EL, although LEP is still being used.

Finally, always check with your Title III state specialist before putting items in a Title III application budget.

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