For the six states with ELE programs in effect as of December 2010 (Alabama, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, and Oregon), the primary data source used in this chapter is interviews with state staff, conducted between January and March 2012. Initial questions about ELE design and current implementation status were included along with questions about the administrative costs of ELE and the perceived benefits for applicants in a structured discussion guide (which can be found in Appendix A). From March through June 2012, interview notes were submitted to state staff for review and verification, and we sought follow-up to outstanding questions that were not resolved during the initial interview. We also held brief discussions with ELE partner agency staff where possible.
To supplement the interviews, we reviewed publicly available documents, including state plan amendments, ELE and standard application forms, and state budget and performance reports. We compared staff interviews with program descriptions available through these secondary documents and resolved any apparent conflicts concerning implementation dates and current operational status.
For Colorado, Georgia, and South Carolina, states whose ELE programs were approved after December 2010 and thus were not included in the first year of the administrative cost and enrollment study, ELE program design descriptions in this chapter are based only on secondary data sources. These states are expected to participate in case studies planned for 2012-2013, which will gather further information on the implementation status of ELE programs in these states for inclusion in the Final Report to Congress.