Support for English Language Learners is Nearly Lowest in U.S.

About one in five Texas students is an English language learner. Texas, like 34 other states, provides additional formula funding to support students with limited English proficiency through a weighted funding system – meaning that some student groups are given additional funding over the base level.1

Texas has the second-largest number of English Language Learner (ELL) students, yet provides some of the lowest additional funding support—just 10 percent over base level funding.

Bilingual education programs are most frequently offered and most effective in the early education years. Of Texas ELL students in 2017-2018, 50 percent were in the third grade or below.2 Shortchanging young ELL students now means cheating the future of Texas of an educated and bilingual workforce.


1 Education Commission of the States. (2014). 50-State Comparison: English Language Learners, Types of Funding.

2 PEIMS Standard Reports, 2017-2018 “ELL Students by Category and Grade,” Texas Education Agency.

The Center for Public Policy Priorities produced this analysis in 2018, with support from the Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium (TEGAC).