Paraprofessionals providing instructional support in Title I schools must meet the following requirements:
- Have a high school diploma or a GED and
- Complete 48 hours at an institution of higher education OR
- Obtain an associate’s (or higher) degree OR
- Pass a State approved assessment that assesses the ability to assist in instructing reading, writing, and mathematics (or reading, writing, mathematics readiness).
There are two types of Title I schools. The type of Title I school determines which paraprofessionals have to meet the requirements.
- In a Targeted Assistance School, only paraprofessionals paid with Title I Part A funds who provide instructional support must meet the requirements.
- In a schoolwide, all paraprofessionals providing instructional support must meet the requirements. In schoolwides all teachers and paraprofessionals are considered Title I teachers and paraprofessionals. In schoolwides it does not matter who hires the paraprofessional (i.e. district or coop) or from which fund he or she is paid (i.e. general, special education, Title I, ESL, at risk). If the paraprofessional provides instructional support in a schoolwide, he or she must meet the requirements.
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.
Any paraprofessional hired after January 8, 2002 must meet the qualifications upon hiring.