Legislation & Policy

Are you registered for the 2024 Growing Success for MLs Summer Conference?

Make your plans now! Join experts from across the state and the Department of Public Instruction for the ML/Title III Growing Success for MLs Summer Conference. This year's conference, themed "Unlocking the Power of Multilingual Learners for Academic Success," promises to be an inspiring and transformative experience.  Register now!

Program Coordinators

All school districts should have one English Learner (EL) program coordinator/designee to develop and establish district-wide protocols and procedures for the implementation of the English learner program based on federal and state guidance, coordinate district-wide activities for professional development and family engagement, and collect and report information related to English learners and Immigrant Children and Youth.

This page offers EL program coordinators guidance in creating a successful Language Instruction Educational Program (LIEP) in their assigned district or charter school. EL program coordinators should work in collaboration with the school district Federal Programs Director and other decision-makers to ensure the development and effective implementation of the EL program. EL program coordinators are encouraged to attend statewide and regional meetings with the NCDPI ML/Title III team to receive updates on policy, legislation, compliance, and other relevant information.

Program Coordinator/Designee Update

EL Coordinator Field in the EDDIE Database

The Educational Directory and Demographical Information Exchange (EDDIE) is an online application containing PSUs' information. The EL Coordinator field is available. Contact your school administrator to keep this information updated.

Private EL Program Coordinator Listserv

The Private EL Program Coordinator Listserv is a mailing list used by the ML/Title III Team to share policy and guidance updates. New EL coordinators and/or district leaders should contact Susan Walz at susan.walz@dpi.nc.gov to be added to this list.

Explore the tabs below to learn more about Federal Guidance, State Board of Education (SBE) Policy, and the U.S. Department of Education Tool Kits.


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Office of Civil Rights (OCR) and US Department of Education (USED) Guidance 

"The obligation not to discriminate based on race, color, or national origin requires public schools to take affirmative steps to ensure that limited English proficient (LEP) students, now more commonly known as English Learner (EL) students or English Language Learners (ELLs), can meaningfully participate in educational programs and services, and to communicate information to EL parents in a language they can understand."

The U.S. Department of Education (USED) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) have issued joint guidance to remind state education agencies (SEAs), public school districts, and public schools of their legal obligation to ensure that EL students can participate meaningfully and equally in educational programs. This guidance is known as the Dear Colleague Letter and it establishes the responsibilities of school districts and SEAs' legal obligations toward EL students and their families/caregivers. 

Dear Colleague Letter: English Learner Students and Limited English Proficient Parents:

  • Identifying and Assessing All Potential EL Students
  • Providing Language Assistance to EL Students
  • Staffing and Supporting an EL Program Providing Meaningful Access to All Curricular and Extracurricular Programs
  • Avoiding Unnecessary Segregation of EL Students
  • Evaluating EL Students for Special Education and Providing Dual Services
  • Meeting the Needs of Students Who Opt-Out of EL Programs or Particular Services
  • Monitoring and Exiting EL Students from EL Programs and Services
  • Evaluating the Effectiveness of a District’s EL Program
  • Ensuring Meaningful Communication with Limited English Proficient Parents

Visit the USED website to learn more about the schools' civil rights obligations to English learner students and limited English proficient parents.

US Education Department Tool Kits

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The Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA)'s English Learner Tool Kit was published in 2015 as a companion to support the 2015 Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) produced by the Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, and the Department of Justice, outlining legal obligations for ELs. Some chapters of the tool kit have been updated related to the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA). 

The EL Tool Kit has 10 chapters (one for each section of the DCL) and contains an overview, sample tools, and resources.


  1. Identifying All English Learner Students 
  2. Providing English Learners with a Language Assistance Program 
  3. Staffing and Supporting an EL Program 
  4. Meaningful Access to Core Curricular, Extra-Curricular Programs 
  5. Creating an Inclusive Environment and Avoiding Unnecessary Segregation 
  6. Addressing English Learners with Disabilities 
  7. Serving English Learners who Opt-Out of EL Programs 
  8. Monitoring and Exiting English Learners from EL Programs and Services 
  9. Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Districts EL Program
  10. Ensuring Meaningful Communication with Limited English Proficient Parents

The Newcomer Tool Kit is designed to help U.S. educators; elementary and secondary teachers, principals, and other school staff who work directly with immigrant students—including asylees and refugees—and their families.

The Newcomer Tool Kit has 5 chapters, and contains an overview, sample tools, and resources.


  1. Who are our Newcomers? 
  2. Welcoming Newcomers to a Safe and Thriving School Environment 
  3. High-Quality Instruction for Newcomer Students 
  4. How Do We Support Newcomers' Social Emotional Needs? 
  5. Establishing Partnerships with Families

The English Learner (EL) Family Toolkit was created to help families choose education services that meet their child’s needs. U.S. educators, elementary and secondary school teachers, principals, and other school staff can also share the toolkit as a resource for English learners and their families.

The EL Family Toolkit consists of 6 chapters, and each chapter contains 5 sections - an overview, family and student rights, questions to ask schools, tips, and resources. 


  1. Enrolling Your Child in School (English)
  2. Attending School in the United States (English)
  3. Obtaining Services for English Learners
  4. Finding Additional Services for Your Child
  5. Keeping Your Child Safe and Healthy in School 
  6. Helping Your Child With Schoolwork at Home

Information and Resources

For more information, visit our subpages below or on the side-rail:

English Learner (EL) Data, EL Program Quality, EL Program Compliance, Professional Learning, and Resources.

To receive announcements, periodic newsletters, and other updates, sign up at NCDPI Email Updates. Add your email address and select these listservs: Dual Language/Immersion (DL/I) Educators, NC LinguaFolio, and Teachers of Multilingual Learners.