Bilingual/ESL Allotment (PIC 25/35) and Written Policy and Procedures
New audit requirements can be a “spooky” topic, but here at CSS, we don’t want to leave you in the dark! Beginning with fiscal year 2022, you will be required to attest that you have written policies and procedures for your bilingual and/or ESL program. Although the same will be required for your State Compensatory Education program, the focus of this article is on BE/ESL. This requirement is encouraged to be included in the FY 2021 audit, so keep reading to make this news less daunting – or should we say “haunting!”
CSS does not have a division to support State Bilingual/ESL program implementation. Our Federal team does work with clients to implement the Title III grant requirements and allowable costs from the BE/ESL program allotments; however, student identification and assessment is not included. Nonetheless, CSS believes it is urgent to communicate content that is closely related to services we do provide.
What is the J4 – Use of Funds Report?
Currently, charter districts are accustomed to receiving their state allotment allocations through the Summary of Finances. Emphasis has been placed on making sure to spend the minimum required percentage (in this case 55%) of the allotment on direct services to Bilingual/ESL students. Expenditures are reported and audited and feed into the Charter First Rating. The Schedule J-4 “Use of Funds Report” for select state allotment programs will collect this data for TEA. The “new” part addresses having written policies and procedures. Take a look at the four questions expected to be on the report:
|1. Did your district expend any bilingual education program state allotment funds during the district’s fiscal year? Yes/No|
|2. Does the district have written policies and procedures for its bilingual education program? Yes/No *|
|3. Total state allotment funds received for bilingual education programs during the district’s fiscal year. (from Summary of Finance)|
|4. Actual direct program expenditures for bilingual education programs during the district’s fiscal year. (PICs 25 and 35) (Should be at least 55% of allotment.)
*Note: Auditors will ask for the J-4 be filled out on your AFR when submitting to TEA even though it is optional this year. Some auditors will ask for the J-4 attachment to include in their audit papers. Marking “No” on Question 2 will not result in a finding this year, but it will next year.
Question 2 is the new area, and may raise questions about what type of written policies and procedures are they talking about? CSS has received clarification on this issue.
What written policies and procedures are required?
In layman’s terms, the written policies and procedures for the BE/ESL program are often called “LPAC Manuals.” They typically contain information for how students are identified and exited from the program. Additionally, forms for LPAC will often be included such as the Home Language Survey, LPAC Placement Forms, and Parent Consent forms. Information about how students will be served may also be included depending on the program models the charter district has available.
Legally speaking, the requirements are as follows:
- School districts shall abide by local board policy establish and operate a language proficiency assessment committee (LPAC). The school district shall have on file policy and procedures for the selection, appointment, and training of members of the LPAC. The school district shall operate a sufficient number of LPAC committees to enable them to discharge their duties within four weeks of the enrollment of English learners.
- The written policies and procedures provide documentation that the charter district is fulfilling the requirements of Chapter 89, Subchapter BB – Commisioner’s Rules for Educating English Learners.
- Two items MUST be on file with the charter district in order to say “Yes” to the J-4, Question 2 item on the report.
- The written Board policy establishing and operating LPAC committees, and
- Procedures for the charter district LPAC selection, appointment, and training.
Where can I find more information?
In TASB model policy, the corresponding policies are found in EHBE Legal and Local. These policies are easily available on many ISD websites. For charters, adoption would be documented on your Board agenda and in the minutes for the meeting, and the policy would be kept where you store other Board approved policies.
The “go to” site for all things LPAC is https://www.txel.org/Educators.
Although the site does not contain a model LPAC manual template, it does contain all the legal LPAC requirements, forms in multiple languages, and training modules for LPAC members.
A great starting place would be for your charter district to write down the steps for these questions:
- How are LPAC members selected, appointed, and trained in our charter district?
- How are Bilingual/ESL students identified and placed in our charter district? How are they exited?
Once the steps for each are written down, this can become the basis for an LPAC manual, and then it can be fleshed out with local forms and other BE/ESL program information.
Please contact Charter School Success:
- Sharon Benka firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sheila K. Sherman email@example.com
- Jean Cornelius firstname.lastname@example.org