ELL Funding Accountability and Time Limits

Policy Description

Stand - Oregon tried to get time limits placed on how long kids can be ELL based on whether high-or-low performing. Also needed budget transparency into the % of ELL dollars actually spent on kids. The bill ended up forming work groups to determine performance indicators for ELL kids, including appropriate time in program. Budget transparency and accountability successful, and for districts to get additional ELL funding, they'll have to show that they're spending at least the state average on ELL and it's actually reaching the kids.

Stand Oregon co-led the EL advocates coalition in successfully lobbying the State Board to adopt our recommendations, specifically
(1) Laying out a technical assistance (TA) framework for transformation and target districts that focuses on a continuous improvement process

(2) Stating that the technical assistance must include an evaluation of the district’s programs for ELL students using an approved and evidence based needs assessment. The needs assessment will examine the root causes impacting student’s performance and program quality and effectiveness. The evaluation must include, but not be limited to program design, program model, instructional delivery strategies, curriculum, assessment, staff qualifications, staff training on culturally responsive instructional pedagogy and practices, and the level of engagement with ELL families and community.

(3) Requiring key stakeholder engagement in the TA process, that includes families of ELL students; and community stakeholders which may include culturally specific community based organizations and federally recognized tribes.

(4) Ensuring that staff contracted to provide technical assistance to districts have the appropriate ELL program knowledge, experience and background to effectively support the implementation of the district’s programs for ELL students including culturally responsive pedagogy and practices.

(5) Specifying that the Department will direct all of the 0.5 ELL funds for up to three years if a district doesn't improve by the end of the four year period; this direction must be individualized for each district, aligned to evidenced-based practices, and focused on supporting the district in meeting expected growth in student progress indicators and the expected benchmarks for student progress indicators identified for the school district.

(6) Requiring school districts to communicate with stakeholders about the expenditure direction as follows: (a) In at least one community forum; (b) In a letter to parents of ELL students who are enrolled in the district; and (c) By posting information about the expenditure direction on the district’s website.

(7) Utilizing a long-term ELL definition that our coalition pushed for: "students who are in grades 6 to 12 and have been identified as ELL students for six or more years.

Policy / Coalition Partners

Oregon Alliance for Civil Rights (includes Chalkboard Project, Urban League, etc.)

Key Lessons Learned

Coalitions with civil rights partners helped us establish the credibility we needed to champion this bill.

Bill / Policy Reference

HB 3499


Toya Fick
Executive Director


Stand for Children Oregon



  • English Language Learners
  • School Finance

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