Title III- Immigrant

Title III- Immigrant

Immigrant Children and Youth Program

The Immigrant Children and Youth Program targets local educational agencies (LEAs) experiencing a substantial increase of immigrant children and youth. This program provides financial assistance to LEAs with immigrant students through a formula. Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education informs LEAs that returned their counts and qualify for this program.  Funds for this program are known as Title III-Immigrant because they are a part of Title III of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).


According to ESEA Section 3201(5), “immigrant children and youth” refers to individuals who:

  • are aged 3 through 21;
  • were not born in any State; and
  • have not been attending one or more schools in any one or more States for more than 3 full academic years.


  1. “State” is defined in Section 3201(13) of the ESEA to include the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Therefore, students born in Puerto Rico may not be included as “immigrant” students under Title III.
  2. The term “immigrant” as used in Title III is not related to an individual's legal status in the United States. Under the U.S. Supreme Court case Plyler v. Doe, schools are required to provide equal access to a basic public education to all students, regardless of immigration status. For more information see OCR’s Guidance for School Districts to Ensure Equal Access for All Children to Public Schools Regardless of Immigration Status, available at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/frontpage/faq/rr/policyguidan…

Title III Resources

ESSA Title III Immigrant Subgrant and Serving Immigrant Students  (p. 34-37) (PDF) (ed.gov)

Educational Resources for Immigrants, Refugees, Asylees and other New Americans

 US E.D. Newcomer Toolkit – NCELA (website)

Newcomer Toolkit (ed.gov) (pdf)

Fact Sheet: Information on the Rights of All Children to Enroll in School

Uses of Title III- Immigrant Funds

LEA must use the immigrant subgrant to provide enhanced instructional opportunities for immigrant children and youth (ESEA Section 3115(e)). Activities may include:

  • Family literacy, parent and family outreach, and training activities designed to assist parents and families to become active participants in the education of their children;
  • Recruitment of and support for personnel, including teachers and paraprofessionals who have been specifically trained, or are being trained, to provide services to immigrant children and youth;
  • Provision of tutorials, mentoring, and academic or career counseling for immigrant children and youth;
  • Identification, development, and acquisition of curricular materials, educational software, and technologies to be used in the program;
  • Basic instruction services that are directly attributable to the presence of immigrant children and youth in the LEA, including the payment of costs of providing additional classroom supplies, costs of transportation, or such other costs as are directly attributable to such additional basic instruction services;
  • Other instruction services that are designed to assist immigrant children and youth to achieve in elementary and secondary schools in the U.S., such as programs of introduction to the educational system and civics education; and
  • Activities, coordinated with community-based organizations, institutions of higher education, private sector entities, or other entities with expertise in working with immigrants, to assist parents and families of immigrant children and youth by offering comprehensive community services.

We strongly encourage an LEA that receives Title III immigrant subgrant funds to prioritize activities that will meet the unique needs of the immigrant children and youth enrolled in the LEA, as well as parents and families of these students.

Supplement, Not Supplant

Title III funds must be used to supplement the level of federal, state, and local funds that, in the absence of Title III funds, would have been expended for programs for ELs and immigrant students and youth. In general, services provided with Title III funds must be in addition to and not replace or supplant, the services students would otherwise receive.

Questions to ask when considering whether Title III funds can be used without violating the supplement not supplant requirement:

  1. What is the instructional program/service provided to all students;
  2. What does the LEA do to meet Lau v.    Nichols (414 U.S. 663 (1974)) requirements to ensure that non-English speaking students receive an equal education;
  3. What services is the LEA required by other federal, state, and local laws or regulations to provide; and
  4. Was the program/service previously provided with federal or state and local funds?

DESE will presume supplanting has occurred if the LEA used Title III funds to provide services that:

  1. were required to be made available under other federal, state, or local laws; and/or
  2. were provided with nonfederal funds in the prior year.

Frequently Asked Questions about Immigrant Children and Youth Program

  1. The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education does not collect information on the legal basis for any student’s current residence in the US (e.g. citizenship status, permanent residency, visas, etc.).  Districts must stay away from asking questions that may create a chilling effect and discourage students and families from enrolling in school.  The definition target will determine the total cumulative number of months that the student has attended schools in the United States.  Date and place of birth, and prior schooling may help to determine eligibility.  Immigration status questions have no bearing on whether or not the student meets the definition.
  2. Students adopted by U.S. citizens and foreign exchange students may be identified as Immigrant (Title III) code if they meet the definition above.
  3. According to the U.S. Department of Education, students born in the territories of the United States other than Puerto Rico are not considered born in the US for purposes of determining immigrants under Title III. These territories include American Samoa, Guam, Marianas Islands, and U.S. Virgin Islands. These students are considered 'not born in the US'. Children born outside the US to military personnel and children born outside the US and adopted by US citizens are considered 'not born in the US'.