EL Requirements for all Title I Funded Districts

Presented Wednesday, December 6th at 2-3:30pm Eastern.


When ESSA was passed in 2015 it shifted a significant number of requirements related to providing English language and academic services to students identified as English learners as defined in ESSA. In this webinar Dr. David Holbrook, NAELPA Executive Director, will review the statutory requirements in Title I related to providing services to English learners/multilingual learners (ELs/MLs). After his presentation, there will be a panel discussion with both state and district directors regarding how Title I can support ELs/MLs and the kinds of activities that are being encouraged at the state level and implemented at the district level. Panelists include:

David Holbrook

Executive Director, NAELPA

Dr. Holbrook earned his Ph.D. in linguistics at the University of the West Indies in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and has over 20 years of experience working with speakers of other languages. He has lived in five countries and worked in more than 15.

Dr. Holbrook spent nearly six years at the Wyoming Department of Education, where he held positions as Federal Programs Division Director, Title I Director, Title III Director, and for six months was Director of both the Federal programs and Assessment Divisions. Dr. Holbrook also served as the state’s Native American Education Consultant working with the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone Tribes on the Wind River Indian Reservation. As Federal Programs Division Director he was responsible for oversight of federal education programs, including Title I, Title III, and McKinney-Vento programs for students experiencing homelessness. He trained with the U.S. Department of Education and participated in federal monitoring of Title III in five states. He has served 12 years with the National Association of English Learner Program Administrators (NAELPA, formerly NCSTIIID), two years as President and is now NAELPA’s Executive Director. He is the Executive Director of Federal Programs and State Relationships for TransACT Communications.

Sarah Benitez

Federal Grants Specialist

Education policy and advocating for students is my passion! I am a driven Federal Grants Specialist dedicated to strengthening education programs by ensuring compliance with all state and federal requirements and supporting schools as they strive to meet the needs of all Indiana students. In my role, I aim to be the best resource to local education agencies by providing technical assistance and professional development as they implement grant programs in their local contexts.

My greatest strength is my diverse background and experience which drives my work. I am a seasoned teacher with experience leading the development of dual language programs and curriculum maps. While teaching, I earned my Teachers of English Learners license and Building Level Administrator license after receiving my master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Administration from IUPUI. While serving at the Indiana Department of Education, I earned my master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Purdue University, which was an extension of the Dual Language Bilingual Education (DLBE) Graduate Certificate I completed while teaching.

Interpreting educational policy provides me with the tools and knowledge for strengthening education programs and advocating for students of special populations. As a bilingual Latina educator, advocating for stronger English Learner (EL) programs has become more prevalent, given the increase of students enrolled in Indiana schools who speak another language in addition to English at home.

Pedro Ruiz, PhD

Director of Bilingual ESL and World Languages, and Director of Assessment, Accountability, and Data Analysis

For the past seven and half years Dr. Ruiz has been working as the Director of the Office of Bilingual ESL and World Languages at Irvington PS in New Jersey. A district that has seen a dramatic change in its ELL population in the last years. Tripling the number of ELL student, developing bilingual programs in Spanish and Haitian Creole, and changing the mindset of the district administrative team.

Dr. Ruiz last assignment in New York State was being the Assistant Commissioner / State Coordinator of the Office of Bilingual Education and Foreign Language Studies at the NYS Education Department. Working with over 350,000 ELL assuring they receive the best and most up to date resources in their transition to learning English.  Most of all he enjoyed working with a number of outstanding professionals that shaped NYS education department and system.

Dr. Ruiz has been an adjunct professor at Adelphi University and New York University teaching graduate courses in the field of Bilingual and Special Education and has been president to numerous national and state organizations, such as NAELPA, NABE, NYSABE and current Executive Board Member and current treasure of the newly establish NJALAS organization.

Dr. Ruiz as done a number of presentation nationally for the past 30 years focusing on language development, bilingual education and ESL. He has also participated in national advisory boards and committees such as: The National Board of Professional Teaching Standards (National Teacher Certification Board) revising the English as a New Language Standards (also known as the National ESL Teacher Standards); advisory boards member to the Center on Instruction (COI) regarding ELL, Investing in Innovation i3 Federal Grant Committee - The American Federation of Teachers and National Guidelines on the implementation of Respond to Intervention (RTI) standards for ELLs, just to mention a few.

Dr. Ruiz began his teaching career at the New York City Board of Education (NYC-DOE), teaching Bilingual Special Education students. Held a number of administrative positions with the NYC-DOE and the Mount Vernon City School District, NY, and recently with the New York State Department of Education.

Dr. Ruiz has a BS in Clinical Psychology from the Catholic University of Puerto Rico, PR; dual MS degree in Special Education - Early Childhood and Bilingual Education from Adelphi University, NY; and a Ph.D. in Bilingual Education including additional credits for District Administration Certification from New York University, NY.






The National Association of English Learner Program Administrators (NAELPA) serves as a voice for multilingual Learners/English Learners (MLs/ELs), representing State and Local Education Agencies across the United States. NAELPA is small enough to hear individual voices, yet powerful enough to be heard as a whole. NAELPA has a greater focus on the ML/EL student, rather than the funding stream, and offers national leadership opportunities for members of State and Local Education Agencies. The organization provides its members with direct contact with the change agents in each state and at the Federal level. With two way communication between NAELPA and the decision makers, our voice can be heard.

Learn More



National Association of ESEA State Program Administrators (NAESPA) & the ESEA Network

NAESPA is a membership organization of state directors and state-level staff working in the federal education programs which are authorized by the Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA). NAESPA’s mission is “building the capacity of education professionals to provide children served by ESEA programs with a high quality education.”

ESEA Network is a project of NAESPA. It is the embodiment of the National ESEA Conference, Video OnDemand service, professional development opportunities, and resources--as well as the people brought together by these connections on .