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    Tom Rosenthal
    Richard Vespucci
    Jon Zlock

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For Release: March 12, 2003


Federal Funds Available to Assist Schools in Educating Immigrant Students

School districts with a concentration of immigrant students can apply for federal funds to help pay for activities that will help immigrant students attain English proficiency, meet academic standards, and acclimate themselves to American society. The funds are available under Title III of the No Child Left Behind Act.

To be eligible for a grant award, districts must meet the following criteria:

  • The district’s combined public and nonpublic school immigrant student enrollment in February 2003 must represent at least a 2 percent increase as compared to the average immigrant enrollment of the two preceding years: February 2001 and 2002.
  • Districts must have a total public and nonpublic school enrollment of 20 or more immigrant students in February 2003.
  • Districts must be eligible for Title III funds. In order to be eligible, districts must have received a $10,000 or greater Title III allocation or be part of a consortium that receives an allocation of at least this amount.

Federal regulations define immigrant students as those who are between the ages of 3 and 21, inclusive, were not born in any state, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John) and have not been attending one or more schools in any one or more states for more than three full academic years. Foreign students who have been granted a visa for a specific length of time and a specific purpose are not immigrants. This includes foreign exchange students. An estimated 54,000 immigrant children attend school in New Jersey.

School districts seeking the grants must fill out and submit data collection forms by March 24, 2003. The immigrant student data collection forms and instructions can be accessed on the Department of Education’s Web site at:

http://www.nj.gov/njded/bilingual/

The forms must be received by the deadline.