August 24, 2010
TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED:
SUBJECT: Status of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Title I, Part A Paraprofessional Qualifications Requirements
Section 1119 of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act requires that all paraprofessional working in Title I, Part A programs, whether Schoolwide or Targeted Assistance programs, meet minimum qualification and supervision requirements.
Any paraprofessional with instructional support duties working in a Title I, Part A program must have a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent. Additionally, these paraprofessionals also must meet one of three additional criteria specified in Section 1119.
- Two years of study at an institution of higher education [defined as completion of 48 semester hours (or equivalent trimester hours) of college coursework or an applicable number of semester hours as defined by the institution of higher education attended, whichever is less]; or
- An associate’s degree or higher; or
- Meet a rigorous standard of quality and can demonstrate, through a formal state or local academic assessment –
- knowledge of, and the ability to assist in instructing, reading, writing and mathematics; or
- knowledge of, and the ability to assist in instructing, reading readiness, writing readiness, and mathematics readiness, as appropriate.
In addition, LEAs are prohibited from assigning any paraprofessional who does not meet the qualification requirements to a program supported with Title I funds. Also, Title I paraprofessionals must work under the supervision of, and in close proximity to, a highly qualified teacher on the campus.
However, paraprofessionals whose duties consist solely of parental involvement activities or translation services (with no instructional support duties) are exempt from the qualification requirements. These paraprofessionals must have a high school diploma or its equivalent, but do not have to meet the other educational requirements. Additional information regarding Title I paraprofessional hiring and retention is available in the Guidance Document included as Attachment 1.
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) collects paraprofessional data annually at the campus level as part of the Highly Qualified Teacher Compliance Report (PR1100). Local education agencies (LEAs) are required to report their paraprofessional compliance at the beginning of the school year (as of September 15, 2010), amend during the school year if there are changes, and complete an end of school year update by June 15, 2011.
In accordance with NCLB statue and in response to U. S. Department of Education (USDE) monitoring findings, the state is required to monitor and ensure that all paraprofessionals with instructional support duties working in a Title I, Part A program (Schoolwide and Targeted Assistance) have a high school diploma, or its recognized equivalent, and meet one of the required qualifications described above no later than the September 15, 2010, reporting date. For the 2010-2011 school year and beyond, the LEA must remove, or reassign to another non-Title I campus, any non-qualified paraprofessionals from Title I programs immediately.
TEA will be required to report to the USDE on this required corrective action. If any non-qualified paraprofessional is reported on the PR1100 report, Division of NCLB Program Coordination staff will contact the LEA to discuss the required removal or reassignment of the paraprofessional and the subsequent documentation that must be provided by the LEA.
If you have questions concerning the paraprofessional requirements under NCLB, please contact the Division of NCLB Program Coordination at (512) 463-9374.
Deputy Associate Commissioner for Special Programs