English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) is a state-funded instructional program for eligible English Learners (ELs) in grades K-12 (Georgia School Law Code 1981, § 20-2-156, enacted in 1985). The ESOL program is a standards-based curriculum emphasizing academic and social language development. ESOL coursework is based upon the WIDA Consortium English Language Development (ELD) standards. Classroom teachers integrate these ELD standards with the Georgia Performance Standards to enable ELs to both communicate in English and demonstrate their academic, social, and cultural proficiency. Instructional approaches, both in ESOL and general education classes, ensure that the needs of Georgia’s ELs are accommodated. To the extent practicable, it is appropriate to use the EL’s home language as a means of facilitating instruction and providing parents with school-related information.
Title III is a federally-funded program that provides eligible Local Education Agencies with funding to supplement those ESOL services already in place. School districts with large EL populations receive direct Title III allocations, while school districts with lower incidence populations are grouped into the “Georgia Title III Consortium”. The Title III Consortium allows these “low-incidence” districts to access Title III funds typically available only to districts with greater numbers of ELs. Both ESOL and Title III hold students accountable for progress in, and attainment of, English language proficiency. Upon attainment of English language proficiency, students exit from supplemental language services.
Georgia Title III Consortium
The Georgia Title III Consortium is comprised of those districts whose EL student numbers do not meet the threshold above which a district may receive an individual ($10,000 minimum) Title III sub-grant. As federal Title III funding varies year-to-year, so does the minimum “threshold” number of ELs. In 2013, districts with fewer than 62 ELs will be offered participation in the Statewide Title III Consortium. In 2012, this number was 60 and in 2011, districts with fewer than 57 ELs were considered “Consortium” districts.
Since 2006 Georgia has been part of the WIDA Consortium, a group now consisting of 29 member states. Together with our colleague-states, we work in close collaboration with the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER), the Center for Applied Linguistics and MetriTech to ensure that our English Language Proficiency assessment (ACCESS for ELLs) and our ESOL teaching standards remain reliable and valid across administration years. Click on WIDA for an overview and to learn more about our consortium’s K-12 English Language Development (ELD) Standards and the assessments used with ELs (W-APT screener and ACCESS for ELLs).