The federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act requires that all paraprofessionals working in Title I, Part A programs, whether it’s through Schoolwide or Targeted Assistance programs, meet the following 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:

  • 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.

TEA recently released a letter to school districts that the United States Department of Education is requiring TEA to ensure that all affected paraprofessionals must meet these requirements by Sept. 15, 2010.

TCTA has a web page with information related to the No Child Left Behind Act, including a section devoted to paraprofessionals, as well as a link to a paraprofessional assessment provider, as a resource for meeting the third criteria (regarding assessment).