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Annual Notification of Transalation Languages

Letter Head: Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, California Department of Education

August 31, 2012

Dear County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators:

The purpose of this communication is to advise you of the requirement to write notices and other communications in a language other than English in certain circumstances. Specifically, California Education Code (EC), Section 48985 provides:

If 15 percent or more of the pupils enrolled in a public school that provides instruction in kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, speak a single primary language other than English, as determined from the census data submitted to the department pursuant to Section 52164 in the preceding year, all notices, reports, statements, or records sent to the parent or guardian of any such pupil by the school or school district shall, in addition to being written in English, be written in the primary language, and may be responded to either in English or the primary language.

In addition, EC Section 48985 (c) requires the California Department of Education (CDE) to notify districts, by August of each year, of schools within the district where languages other than English are spoken by 15 percent or more of the student body and for which translations of parental notifications are required.

This message constitutes the CDE’s annual notification to your district or county office.

Please note: Data collected for English learners (ELs) and fluent English proficient (FEP) students, by language, is not expected to be available at the state level until early September 2012. Please use your local level 2011–12 data report information to calculate the 15 percent translation requirement and then verify your calculation using DataQuest once it becomes available online. See the enclosed document for instructions on how to access DataQuest reports.

Funding for Translation of Documents

Assembly Bill 680 did not provide new funds for local translation efforts. Title III funds may not be used for the general translation of documents. Translations are required by both federal and state law, and therefore are subject to the federal supplement, not supplant, requirement found on the U.S. Department of Education Web page titled Supplement Not Supplant Provision of Title III of the ESEA at . Please note, local educational agencies may use local general funds and, pursuant to the ESEA, Title I, sections 1111 (h)(6)(C), 1112 (g)(2), and 1118(e)(5), Title I funds for the purpose of translating parental notifications.

Title III funds may be used to pay for the translation of specific documents, per the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Title III, Section 3302(c) for the purpose of informing parents of limited English proficient (LEP) children identified for participation in the Title III program of the following:

  • Reason for identification
  • Method of assessment and level of English proficiency
  • Description of program settings
  • Program placement and rationale
  • Exit requirements
  • Coordination with objectives of Individualized Education Program (if appropriate)
  • Parental rights
  • Failure to make progress on the Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (if appropriate)
Why are Fluent-English Proficient counts included in the calculation?

The intent of EC, Section 48985 is to facilitate effective communication with parents/guardians. If a student is reclassified from EL status to FEP, the parents’ need to receive notices in both English and the primary language may not change. Consequently, the formula used by the CDE in determining the 15 percent and above statistics includes EL and FEP counts. The formula is the same as that explained on the CDE 2012-13 Federal Program Monitoring Instrument Web page at in the instrument titled English Learner (EL) On-site ((including ESEA, Title III).

For more information

A free online resource is available on the CDE Clearinghouse for Multilingual Documents (CMD) Web page at, which provides to districts numerous translations of parental notification templates that can be downloaded and modified for local use. For questions regarding the CMD and its translations, please contact the CMD help desk by phone at 916-445-6109 or by e-mail at

For questions regarding compliance with EC Section 48985 and Title III requirements, please contact Carlos Rivera, Administrator, Language Policy and Leadership Office, by phone at 916-319-0247 or by e-mail at

If you need assistance in accessing the DataQuest reports for your schools, or if you have questions regarding the calculations, please contact the Data Management Team by phone at 916-319-0947 or 916-327-0193 or by e-mail at


Karen Cadiero-Kaplan, Director
English Learner Support Division

Enclosure: Instructions for Accessing DataQuest Reports

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