Title I, Part A Requirements for Paraprofessionals

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), requires that LEAs ensure that paraprofessionals performing instructional duties whose salaries are paid in full or in part from Title I, Part A funds on a Schoolwide or Targeted Assistance campus, meet the Title I, Part A Paraprofessional requirements.

ESSA Statutory References

Section 1111(g)(2)(J) The State educational agency will ensure that all teachers and paraprofessionals working in a program supported with funds under this part meet applicable State certification and licensure requirements, including any requirements for certification obtained through alternative routes to certification.

Section 1111(g)(2)(M) The State has professional standards for paraprofessionals working in a program supported with funds under this part, including qualifications that were in place on the day before the date of enactment of the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Instructional Support Paraprofessionals*

A paraprofessional is an employee of a local education agency (LEA) who provides instructional support. Duties of a paraprofessional may include:

  • providing one-on-one tutoring if such tutoring is scheduled at a time when a student would not otherwise receive instruction from a teacher;
  • assisting with classroom management, such as by organizing instructional materials;
  • providing instructional assistance in a computer laboratory;
  • conducting parental involvement activities;
  • providing instructional support in a library or media center;
  • acting as a translator; or
  • providing instructional support services under the direct supervision of an appropriately certified teacher.

* TEA refers to this position as an Educational Aide as per State certification requirements.

Exempt Paraprofessionals

Paraprofessionals whose duties consist solely of parent and family engagement activities or translation services are exempt from the Title I, Part A paraprofessional requirements.

Title I, Part A Paraprofessional Requirements

Prior to providing services, Title I, Part A paraprofessionals must have a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent and meet one of the following requirements:

  1. Complete at least 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;
  2. Possess an associate (or higher) degree; or
  3. Meet a rigorous standard of quality and can demonstrate, through a 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.

Additionally, within one year of being hired, Title I, Part A paraprofessionals must have the Educational Aide state certificationNote:  Charter school personnel are exempt from the state certification requirement unless it is required by local policies and procedures.