One of the key changes to the weighted funding formula for schools under HB 3 is the formula used to calculate the bilingual education allotment (BEA), which provides funding to districts and charters for the education of students participating in one of the State’s six English Learner/Limited English Proficiency (EL/LEP) program models.
Under HB 3, some bilingual programs will receive an additional weight to the basic allotment that some programs will not. Transitional bilingual education programs (like early exit or late-exit) and English as a Second Language programs (like content-based or pull-out) will receive the same 0.1 weight that they received prior to the passage of HB 3. However, dual-language immersion (DLI) programs will receive an additional 0.05 weight, bringing their weight to 0.15. This weight also applies to non-LEP students participating in a dual language immersion two-way program. This increase in funding for DLI was recommended after data indicated that DLI programs are more effective than other language programs.
Additionally, under HB 3, the minimum spending requirement for BEA funds on the provision of bilingual or ESL programs has increased from 52% to 55%, and spending eligibility to meet this requirement has been expanded. TEA will likewise expand its selection of tools and resources to support bilingual education programs. The SBOE will adopt rules on creating an audit report regarding how BEA funds are spent. These rules will ensure that schools comply with the 55% minimum expenditure requirement and report in their annual financial audit.
The Texas Charter Schools Association will update schools on the SBOE rules when they are announced. For further information on the new bilingual education funding weights, click here or email me.