Paraprofessionals and Highly Qualified Teachers
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Section 1119(h) Qualification for Teachers and Paraprofessionals, requires that Local Education Agencies (LEAs) ensure that teachers and paraprofessionals hired with Title I funds or working in a Title I Schoolwide Program meet the requirements for highly qualified.
Please Note: All teachers and paraprofessionals working in a schoolwide program are considered Title I employees.
Each LEA shall require that the principal of each school operating a Title I program under ESEA Section 1114, Schoolwide Programs, or Section 1115, Targeted Assistance Schools, attest annually in writing as to whether such school is in compliance with the requirements of Section 1119. In addition, copies of attestations shall be:
- Maintained at each school operating a Schoolwide or Targeted Assistance program, and
- Maintained at the main office of the school district, and
- Available to any member of the general public on request
A paraprofessional is an employee of an LEA who provides instructional support in a program supported with Title I, Part A funds.
According to Title I, Section 1119(g)(2), paraprofessionals who provide instructional support include those who:
- Provide one-on-one tutoring if such tutoring is scheduled at a time when a student would not otherwise receive instruction from a teacher
- Assist with classroom management, such as by organizing instructional materials
- Provide instructional assistance in a computer laboratory
- Conduct parental involvement activities
- Provide instructional support in a library or media center
- Act as a translator
- Provide instructional support services under the direct supervision of a highly qualified teacher
Because paraprofessionals provide instructional support, they should not be providing planned direct instruction, or introducing to students new skills, concepts, or academic content.
Individuals who work in food services, cafeteria or playground supervision, personal care services, non-instructional computer assistance, and similar positions are not considered paraprofessionals under Title I, Part A.
All Title I paraprofessionals must have a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent. Additionally, paraprofessionals working in a program supported with Title I, Part A funds must have:
- Completed two years of study at an institution of higher education -or-
- Obtained an associate’s (or higher) degree -or-
- Met a rigorous standard of quality and be able to demonstrate, through a formal State or local academic assessment, knowledge of and the ability to assist in instructing, reading, writing, and mathematics (or, as appropriate, reading readiness, writing readiness, and mathematics readiness)