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English Language Proficiency Act (ELPA)

Program Description

The English Language Proficiency Act Program is a state funded program that provides financial and technical assistance to school districts implementing programs to serve the needs of students whose dominant language is not English.

Allocation Information

The ELPA program is funded annually on a per pupil basis. The following programs are eligible for funding under ELPA:

  • Bilingual Education Program
  • ESL Program
  • Other methods of achieving the English language proficiency
Deadline:Must be received by October 31, each year
Funding Limitation:Maximum of two fiscal years per student

ELPA District Allocation Report SY2010-2011 - pdf

General ELPA Resources and Information

ELPA Frequently Asked Questions - pdf

2000-2010 Ten Year State Summary Report – pdf

ELPA Updates 2009 - pdf

ELPA Legislation

The general assembly hereby finds, determines, and declares that there are substantial numbers of students in this state whose educational potential is severely restricted because a language other than English is their primary means of communication. The general assembly recognizes the need to provide for transitional programs to improve the English language skills of students. It is the purpose of this article to provide for the establishment of an English language proficiency program in the public schools and to provide for the distribution of moneys to the several school districts to help defray the costs of such program.

(Section 22-24-105. Specifies district-powers and duties as follows)

It is the duty of each district to:

  • Identify, through the observations and recommendations of parents, teachers, or other persons the students whose dominant language may not be English;
  • Assess such students, using instruments and techniques approved by the department, to determine if their dominant language is not English;
  • Certify to the department those students in the district whose dominant language is not English;
  • Administer and provide programs for students whose dominant language is not English

A student whose dominant language is not English is defined as a public school student whose academic achievement is impaired due to his/her inability to comprehend or speak English adequately. English language proficiency is determined by his/her local school district through use of instruments and tests approved by the department. Such a student would have one or more of the following attributes and would be considered:

  • A student who speaks a language other than English and does not comprehend or speak English; or
  • A student who comprehends or speaks some English, but whose predominant comprehension or speech is in a language other than English; or
  • A student who comprehends or speaks English and one or more other languages and whose dominant language is difficult to determine, if the student’s English language development and comprehension is:
  1. At or below district mean or below the mean or equivalent on a nationally standardized test; or
  2. Below the acceptable proficiency level English language proficiency test approved by the department.

For Additional Information Contact:

Morgan Cox
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