State Limited English (LEP) Program
For the State LEP program, a student may be considered as LEP, if they have a home language other than English and test below the proficient level for English language acquisition, on a state approved test. All students who qualify for services in the LEP program are counted for state and federal funding purposes. However, the U.S. Department of Education has clearly stated that no funds are received for students that have exited the LEP program and are on the two-year federally mandated monitoring status.
State LEP funding enables districts to provide core English Language Development (ELD) services required under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to provide “core language instruction educational programs and services for limited English proficient (LEP) students." The LEP program must meet LAU (1974) requirements which state “Under these state-imposed standards there is no equality of treatment merely by providing the same facilities, textbooks, teachers and curriculum for students who do not understand English effectively.” And Castañeda (1981) requirement which includes a three-part test formulated by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The three-part test includes the following criteria:
- It must be based on “a sound educational theory.
- It must be “implemented effectively,” with adequate resources and personnel.
- After a trial period, it must be evaluated as effective in overcoming language barriers.
STATE LEP ALLOCATION
The State LEP program allocation is determined annually by the Legislature. The budget is finalized by the end of the Legislative session and funds are appropriated into the SDE budget. The SDE administers and distributes State LEP program funding. The number of LEP students tested during the annual WIDA ACCESS assessment determines district allocations. WIDA reports the LEP student count by district annually to the SDE in June. LEPX1 and LEPX2 students are not included in the calculations for funding. Districts are notified of their preliminary allocation in April and final allocations in July. Districts do not need to request State LEP funds specifically, as funds are distributed by October 15th to each district with an approved State LEP plan.