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English Language Proficiency Act (ELPA)
Re-enacted English Language Proficiency Act (ELPA)
On May 21, 2014, Colorado’s Governor signed HB14-1298 that repealed and re-enacted with amendments to the English Language Proficiency Act (ELPA). The re-enacted ELPA provides funding for Colorado districts with eligible English learners (ELs).
- English Language Proficiency Act
- English Language Proficiency Act Approved Rules
There is a substantial number of students in Colorado who are English learners. Per ELPA, Local education providers or local education agencies (LEAs), must provide evidence-based English language proficiency, or English language development (ELD) programs for English learners to enable them to develop and acquire English language proficiency while achieving and maintaining grade-level performance in academic content areas. The state and LEAs must enhance all educators' effectiveness in supporting English language development and in enabling English learners to achieve and maintain grade-level performance in academic content areas. Finally, the state must develop the educational approach and goals of LEAs to help ensure that English learners are postsecondary and workforce ready at graduation.
District Requirements under ELPA:
- Follow State guidance to identify English learners
- Report and certify through the Student October Pupil Enrollment collection the numbers and proficiency levels of identified English learners in the district and the number of ELs who have exited from the program
- Administer and provide evidence-based English language development programs for identified English learner students while also providing access to grade-level content
- Provide professional development to all staff members supporting English learners to enhance their abilities to provide English language development and access to grade-level content
- ELPA supports the requirement to provide an evidence-based ELD program for all English learners
- ELPA provides funding for identified English learners, certified through annual Student October Count, in evidence-based ELD programs for up to a total of five budget years, including prior years of funding
22-24-104, C.R.S. State Grant Code 3140
The ELPA Program is a categorical program that supports the requirement to provide an evidence-based English language development program for all identified English learners. The goal of the ELPA Program is to increase the English language proficiency and academic performance of English learners. HB14-1298 provides $25,257,742 in funding for FY 2021-22 to LEAs, based on the identified English learners in evidence-based ELD programs. Identified ELs, certified annually in Student October Count, may receive funding for up to a total of five budget years, including prior years of funding. Districts and the Charter School Institute must distribute 100% of the ELPA Program funds to those charter schools that identified and reported English learners in the Student October Count.
2021 Changes to the ELPA PD and Support Program
In 2021, Colorado HB21-268, otherwise known as the 2021-2022 School Finance Act, created a new factor in the school finance formula to allocate funds for identified English learners. This funding is in addition to ELPA Program funding. The Colorado legislature determined to apply the ELPA Professional Development and Student Support Program funding to the new English learner factor in the formula. Therefore, while districts will receive additional Total Program funding for English learners, districts will no longer receive ELPA PD and Support funding. The School Finance Act defines English learners counted in the new formula factor as those who are Non-English Proficient (NEP) or Limited English Proficient (LEP) and within the five-year window of NEP or LEP identification, as defined by ELPA 22-24-104. For more information, please visit English Language Learner Count webpage.
The ELPA Program is a categorical program and is part of the required annual inflationary calculation for Amendment 23 purposes. The legislature sets the amount of funding available for each categorical program.
2021-2022 ELPA Eligible Students
CDE has posted the total statewide ELPA eligible students below to assist districts in planning for the 2021-2022 school year. The data is posted the same way that ELPA allocations are broken down, by ELPA Eligible NEP/LEP students, ELPA Eligible Fluent English Proficient (FEP) M1/M2 Students, and the Total ELPA Eligible ELs (sum of the two previous categories). A district may review its ELPA eligible students for the 2021-2022 school year allocations in the Data Pipeline Cognos Reports. The ELPA FAQ on the bottom of this page details how districts can access the district-level 2021-2022 ELPA Data.
Before the Colorado Legislature approves and passes the 2021-2022 Long Appropriations Bill (SB21-205), districts may choose to look at statewide trends in EL numbers, as well as their district-level numbers as compared to the previous year, to budget anticipated 2021-2022 ELPA funds.
FEP M1/M2 Students
Total English Learners
Allowable Uses of Funds
Districts must provide ELD programs for all identified English learners. This responsibility includes students who enter the district after October count each year and who, therefore, are not included in the reported count for that year. ELPA provides funds to offset the cost of this programming, but ELD programming must be provided regardless of funds.
The ELPA Program funds are to be used to:
Provide evidenced-based English language development (ELD) programs designed to develop English learners’ English language proficiency while enabling them to achieve and maintain grade level performance in academic content and
Identify and assess English learners.
The ELPA Report on the Data Pipeline includes the following information: district code, school code and name, student number, grade level, language background code and name, ESL/Bilingual, language proficiency (NEP, LEP, FEP M1, FEP M2), and number of years in the ELPA program. To access the ELPA Report, go to: Data Pipeline - Cognos Reports - Student October - ELPA Student Report, and select the year.
Users will need the OCT LEAUSER or LEAAPPROVE role assigned to their account. In order to view the district totals and filter by any category, the reports are best viewed as Microsoft Excel files downloaded to your computer.
- Guidance on Allowable Use of ELPA Funds Updated July 2021
- ELPA Frequently Asked Questions Updated July 2021
For technical assistance, please contact Lindsay Swanton, ELD Specialist & ELPA Coordinator at Swanton_L@cde.state.co.us or call 303.866.6298