HB3 Update: Bilingual Education Allotment
Texas has a healthy growing population, and with that, Texas also has an increasing Limited English Proficient (LEP) population. HB3 has expanded the resources and allotments given to schools with a Bilingual Education population to help serve this growing population. TEA states that Texas provides services to the second largest LEP population in the nation, which equates to 20% of the nation’s language learners. This means that 1 in 5 students is an English Language Learner.
Identify, Services & Monitoring
What defines a student as LEP? A LEP student is a student whose primary language is not English and is in the process of acquiring or learning English. A LEP student is the same as an English Language Learner or English Learner.
There are six state approved program models for English Learners; two are English as a Second Language Program Models (ESL), and the other four are Bilingual Education Program Models (BE). TEA has provided a “Rule of 20” to help determine which model your school should be providing. If the LEA has 20 or more English Learners, district-wide with the same primary language and the same grade level, then BE program services are required at the elementary level. BE program services are allowable at the secondary level, but not mandatory. To read more about the two different models, please click here for more resources.
In HB3, Texas Education Code (TEC) 48.105(c) implements new reporting requirements for Bilingual Education. TEA is requesting that these new reporting requirements can be satisfied by a adding a new component in the annual LEA audit. To help monitor the changes and to provide high quality and regular program guidance support, HB3 has created an English Learner support program, Assistance by Agency. This agency will help LEA’s with their bilingual education and special language programs by providing assistance and support to teachers, parents, and administrators. You can read more about this at http://elltx.org .
Funding & Spending
Overall, HB3 has increased the funding for Bilingual Education for LEA’s. Previously, the weight for BE ADA’s was 0.10. This still remains true, but with the increase of the Basic Allotment from $5,140 to $6,160, the overall allotment has increased. HB3 has also added a Dual Language Allotment in the BE Allotment, which is an additional 0.05 weight to those eligible. This is to encourage schools to offer Dual Language programs because data has shown that Dual Language programs are highly effective vs. transitional or ESL programs. Students that are non-LEP and serving in an immersion program are also eligible for this additional allotment. HB3 has also made it a requirement to spend at least 55% of the BE Funds on bilingual education. This is up from 52% from previous year.
Summary of BE Allotment Changes:
- 0.10 x BA for LEP = $616
- LEP students in Dual language program = 0.15 x BA = $924
- Non LEP in two-way dual language immersion program = 0.05 x BA= $308
BEA Fund Use:
- Instructional materials and equipment
- Staff development
- Supplemental staff expenses
- Salary supplements for teachers
- Incremental costs associated with providing smaller class sizes – new
- Other supplies required for quality instruction