Bilingual Education: Four Overlapping Programs Could Be Consolidated

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A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "In fiscal year 2000, the federal government funded four bilingual education programs--Program Development and Implementation Grants, Program Enhancement Projects, Comprehensive School Grants, and Systemwide Improvement Grants--that award grants to school districts to serve children with limited English proficiency. This report reviews (1) how similar the performance goals and measures, eligibility criteria, and allowable services are among the four bilingual education programs; (2) to what extent the different kinds of grants were made to the same types of schools or school districts and were used to provide ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. May 14, 2001.

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Description

A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "In fiscal year 2000, the federal government funded four bilingual education programs--Program Development and Implementation Grants, Program Enhancement Projects, Comprehensive School Grants, and Systemwide Improvement Grants--that award grants to school districts to serve children with limited English proficiency. This report reviews (1) how similar the performance goals and measures, eligibility criteria, and allowable services are among the four bilingual education programs; (2) to what extent the different kinds of grants were made to the same types of schools or school districts and were used to provide the same services; (3) what is known about these programs' effectiveness; and (4) whether these programs can be better coordinated or if opportunities exist for program coordination and cost savings. GAO found that all four federal bilingual education programs share the same performance goals and measures, use similar eligibility criteria, and allow for similar uses of program funds. In fiscal year 2000, the four bilingual programs made grants to school districts that shared some characteristics and provided similar services; however, individual schools typically did not receive funding from more than one program. The services provided with program funds are similar, but are tailored by school districts and schools to meet local needs. Currently, the effectiveness of the four bilingual programs on a national level is not known. The authorizing legislation requires the use of local evaluations to assess students' progress in meeting state standards. The variation in local assessment tests complicates the task of providing a national picture of program effectiveness. Even if the Department of Education were able to obtain uniform information on local projects, it faces challenges in trying to isolate the funding effects of the four bilingual programs from funding effects of other programs that support students with limited English proficiency. Finally, these four bilingual programs lend themselves to consolidation. Although cost savings from consolidation would likely be small, there may be advantages to consolidation, such as freeing up staff for other important activities and reducing the administrative burden associated with redundant federal programs."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • May 14, 2001

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  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Bilingual Education: Four Overlapping Programs Could Be Consolidated, report, May 14, 2001; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc293412/: accessed December 11, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.