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Congress Boosts Funding for English Learners Program

Over the past four fiscal years, federal education budgets have increased funding for English learner programs. This new fiscal year was no different.


In late December, the U.S. Congress finalized a fiscal year 2023 budget that increases funding for federal K–12 programs by 5.6%. More significantly, the new budget boosts annual funding for the Title III-A English Language Acquisition Program by 7% over the 2022 level.


The new increase marks a steady and significant rise for Title III-A funding. Over the five-year period from 2019 to 2023, federal funding has increased 21% for the program, which is designed to support English learners with appropriate instruction and curriculum. Allowable uses of funds include instructional support, professional development, community/family programs, instructional materials, and technology.

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In addition to the increase for the Title III-A program, the new fiscal year 2023 budget

increases funding for many other programs, including the Title I program for disadvantaged students and the Title IV-A block grant program for student support and enrichment subjects, including world languages. Funding for those two programs has also increased significantly over the past five years: 16% for the Title I program and 20% for Title IV-A.


The Biden administration has promised future increases in support for disadvantaged students, including English learners. Over the next several months, the White House is expected to roll out its budget proposal for 2024. Stay connected to Vista Higher Learning and its Funding Matters initiative for news and updates regarding federal and state education funding.


By Jay A. Diskey


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