Programs » English Language Advisory Committee (ELAC)

English Language Advisory Committee (ELAC)

English Learner Advisory Committee

Each California Public School from Kindergarten through grade 12, with 21 or more English learners must form a functional English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC). The ELAC is a committee for parents or other community members who want to advocate for English Learners. The purpose of ELAC is to advise the principal and school staff on programs and services for English learners and the School Site Council (SSC) on the development of the School Plan for Student Achievement. The ELAC also assists the school with other tasks listed below:
  • The school’s program for English learners.
  • The school’s needs assessment.
  • Efforts to make parents aware of the importance of regular school attendance.
Composition, Elections, and Training

The percentage of parents of English learners on the committee must be at least the same as that of English learners at the school.

Requirements for ELAC elections include:

  • Parents/guardians of English learners elect parent members of the school committee.
  • The parents/guardians are provided the opportunity to vote for committee members.
  • Each school committee shall have the opportunity to elect at least one member of the Council of Council Committee. 

The district shall provide for all ELAC members:

  • Appropriate training and materials to assist each member in carrying out his or her legally required advisory responsibilities.
  • Training planned in full consultation with ELAC members. Title I-LEP and/or district funds may be used to cover the costs of training and attendance of ELAC members.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which schools are required to have an elected ELAC?
Each school with 21 or more students of Limited English Proficiency (LEP) in attendance, regardless of language, must form a functioning English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC).
What is the role of the ELAC?
The role of the ELAC is to advise the principal and School Site Council on programs and services for English learners. The ELAC acts in an advisory capacity. It is not a decision-making body, but it is the voice of the English learner community. Specifically the ELAC:
  • Advises on the development of services for English learners in the School Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA).
  • Assists in the development of the school’s needs assessment and efforts to make parents aware of the importance of regular school attendance.
  • Has representation on the Council of Councils
What is the composition of the ELAC?
The ELAC membership must include parents of English learners (ELs) but may also include other duly elected family & community members. The percentage of parents of ELs who are elected must be at least equal to the percentage of English learners at the school site. For example, if 50% of the students at a given site are English learners, at least 50% of the membership of the ELAC must be parents of ELs. The remaining 50% of the committee members can be the principal, community members, teachers of participating students, instructional aides, parent liaisons, other parents, and staff.
How are members elected to the ELAC?
Only parents of English Learners may vote for members of the ELAC. All parents of ELs must receive ballots.
When should ELAC elections take place? What is the term of office?
ELAC elections take place every year. ELAC elections must be completed in the fall at the same time as School Site Council elections. 
Can elections be organized so that ELAC members’ terms of office are staggered?
Yes, this would provide for continuity, and schools are encouraged to do this. As new members are elected to the committee, “experienced” members would serve as models. The committee could continue its important work without the interruption of beginning anew every two years.
Must we elect an ELAC if there are parents of English Learners on the School Site Council?
Yes, you must have an ELAC, the Lau Plan requires this committee unless they relinquish their responsibilities.
Can the ELAC delegate their responsibilities to the SSC?
After the ELAC has been trained on their responsibilities as a committee, it may relinquish their responsibilities of all tasks required, to the SSC for up to two years. In order to relinquish their responsibilities to the SSC, the members of the ELAC would have to vote to do so. Once this action is taken, then accepted and recorded in the minutes by the SSC, the SSC functions as the ELAC for all purposes required by law or regulations