Technical Assistance – English Learners

For the last several decades, English learners (ELs) have been among the fastest-growing populations in our Nation’s schools. ELs comprise nearly 10 percent of the student population nationwide, and in many schools, local educational agencies (LEAs) and States, account for an even higher percentage of the student population. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), (herein referred to as the ESEA), strives to ensure that ELs and immigrant youth attain English language proficiency and meet the same academic standards as their peers. This webpage contains information about requirements related to ELs in the ESEA, and provides links to resources to support States in developing and implementing programs and services for ELs.

The Office of Elementary and Secondary Education: English Learner Resources

To view ESEA guidance and regulatory information, navigate to other resources to support English learners in your State or district, and view your State’s consolidated ESSA State plan, please use the drop-down menus below. Please note that some of the resources listed are based on requirements related to English learners in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). The ESEA was reauthorized by the ESSA on December 10, 2015. Changes to the requirements related to English learners under the reauthorized ESEA are not reflected in all of the resources posted. A notification will be published on this page when any updated resources are available.

If you require assistance accessing these resources (or do not see a resource responsive to your needs), please contact your State contact in the Office of State Support (OSS).

Guidance and Regulatory Information

While much of Title III, Part A of the ESEA remains the same as prior reauthorizations, several provisions related to ELs (e.g., accountability for performance on the English language proficiency assessment) are now part of Title I, Part A in the amended ESEA. The ESEA also contains several other changes under Title III, Part A, including new Title III reporting requirements. More information about requirements related to ELs in Title I and Title III is found below.

The ESEA continues to require each State to administer, to all students who are identified as ELs, an annual English language proficiency (ELP) assessment that is aligned to ELP standards (ESEA Section 1111(b)(2)(G)). More information about the ELP assessment can be found in the final regulations at the link below. These regulations also contain provisions regarding the inclusion of ELs in academic content assessments. Additionally, the ESEA requires that ELP assessments for all ELs and alternate ELP assessments (AELPA) for ELs who are students with the most significant cognitive disabilities in grades K-12 be submitted for peer review (ESEA section 1111(a)(4)). More information about ELP assessment peer review is found below.

The ESEA continues to require an LEA to provide for the equitable participation of private school students, teachers and other educational personnel in private schools located in areas served by the LEA. More information about equitable services requirements is found below.

The ESEA substantially expands provisions related to assessment and accountability for recently arrived English learners. More information about accountability models for recently arrived English learners is found below.

Other Tools and Resources

The Office of State Support (OSS) has developed a number of tools and resources that can be used by a State to support ELs. To view these resources and your State’s consolidated ESSA State plan, please use the links provided below.


ELSTAR is a digital application dashboard to support state educational agency (SEA) leaders in making data-based decisions about English learner accountability. SEA staff can also use ELSTAR to support monitoring efforts, reflect on the validity and reliability of the English Language Proficiency (ELP) indicator, as well as prepare for technical assistance around the ELP indicator.

OSS Partners

OSS works with multiple partner offices that administer programs, provide technical assistance and enforce education laws pertaining to ELs. Please find a list of our partner offices and some of the relevant resources they provide below.

Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)

Office for Civil Rights (OCR)

Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA)

Institute of Education Sciences (IES)

Office of Non-Public Education (ONPE)

In addition to the resources provided above, other general grant guidance pertaining to administration of federal programs can be found here:

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