Education Commission of the States has researched English language learner policies in all states to provide this comprehensive resource. Click on the questions below for 50-state comparisons showing how all states approach English language learners policies. Or, choose to view a specific state’s approach by going to the individual state profiles page.
- There are three funding strategies for ELL programs; most states allocate funds through their primary formula funding.
- Formula funded.
- Categorical funding.
- Reimbursement funding.
- Just under 30 states have state policies or department of education guidelines requiring ELL teachers to have specialist certification.
- A few states, including New York and Illinois, require bilingual programs if a school or district has a certain number of ELL students who speak the same language.
- Percentage and number of ELL students (2011-2012)
- How is an “English language learner” defined in state policy?
- What methods are used to identify English language learners?
- Which program approaches does state policy authorize?
- Unique policy levers to promote parent engagement
- Does state make available state seal of biliteracy?
- What measures do schools use to reclassify students as English proficient?
- Are state-funded pre-kindergarten programs required to provide ELL instruction?
- Has the state adopted the English language development standards put forth by World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA)?
- What ELL training, if any, is required of general classroom teachers?
- Are ELL-only instructors required to hold a specialist certification or endorsement?
- Recent state policies/activities – English Language Learner/Bilingual. Education Commission of the States staff review state legislation and regulations weekly to keep this resource updated.
- State funding mechanisms for English language learners
- English Language Learners: A growing – yet underserved – student population
- Learning English in rural America
PUBLISHED: November 1, 2014
RESOURCE TYPE: 50-State Comparison