Paraprofessionals in Kansas Public Schools

The State of Kansas has no statewide requirements for employment as a paraeducator or paraprofessional in a school, however state and federal funding for some positions may have requirements. Each district sets their own requirements for employment as a para, so individual districts may have additional requirements for employment. is a free option districts have to list their open positions. Para jobs are in the category of Classified, and you can filter by region and category. Each district may also list positions on their website.

The Kansas Technical Assistance System Network (TASN) (external link) provides para training on a variety of topics. 

Below are listed the state and federal requirements for school districts to receive funding for paraeducators in specific assignments.

Considerations for the Effective Use of Paraprofessionals in Schools

Considerations for the Effective Use of Paraprofessionals in Schools (PDF) (KSDE, September 2018)
This is a resource document created to support Kansas local educational agency (LEA) administration, staff, and families in the effective use of paraprofessionals in school-based settings. There is an emphasis on understanding effective practices, encouraging data-based decision-making, and managing implementation of paraprofessionals. Forms referenced in the PDF:

Title I Paraprofessional Requirements

Paraprofessionals providing instructional support in programs supported with Title I, Part A funds must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a high school diploma or a GED certificate 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. The list of schools receiving Title I funding, and their type is located here: Title I Part A

  • 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.

Anyone providing educational/instructional services, including those employed by an external agency such as a special education cooperative or interlocal, that works in a Title I schoolwide building must be highly qualified.

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.

Paraprofessionals must meet the qualifications upon hiring. There is no grace period.

*Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs (external link)

Approved Assessments for Title I Paraprofessionals

The Kansas State Board of Education approved the following assessments and established passing scores for each:

  • ParaPro Assessment by Educational Testing Services (ETS).
    • One assessment includes reading, writing and mathematics. The passing score is 455 points.
    • May not retest sooner than 21 days (not including the initial test date)
    • "C-PARAPRO ASSESSMENT" on the results means the test was taken on the computer, not on paper.
  • Paraeducator Online Training (formerly ParaEducator PD Now!, formerly ParaEducator Learning Network) by Master Teacher, Inc. There are two assessments; both must be passed to meet the requirements:
    • Assessment 1 Reading, Writing and Math: Instructional Support (65% to pass) and
    • Assessment 2 Reading, Writing and Math: Knowledge and Application (70% to pass).
  • WorkKeys by ACT, Inc. There are three assessments that must be taken and passed:
    Passing these three assessments lets the individual earn the WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificate. Holding this certificate indicates the  tests have been passed and can serve to meet this testing option. NCRC can be validated online (external link). KSDE WorkKeysFact Sheet (PDF)
    • Workplace Documents (was Reading for Information) (Level 4 score to pass)
    • Applied Math (Level 4 score to pass); and
    • Graphic Literacy (was Locating Information)(Level 4 to pass as of July 1, 2023)

A fillable PDF is available through the LCP application that districts may complete and give to paraprofessionals. Both the paras and school district should keep the records (transcripts of college classes or test results from the tests) that demonstrate the paraprofessionals are qualified. All paraprofessional records are maintained locally and not by KSDE.

Questions regarding Title I: Tate Toedman
Questions regarding Paraeducator requirements: Evelyn Alden   785-296-3868
Questions regarding LCP application: Nicole Clark
Assistance in registering or managing the KSDE authenticated applications account: KSDE Help Desk: 785-296-7935.

Title III (ESOL) Paraprofessional Requirements

Title III paraprofessionals must meet all Title I requirements with the following exceptions:

  1. Paraprofessionals who act primarily as translators and are proficient in English and another language other than English; or
  2. paraprofessionals who serve primarily as parental involvement specialists [Title I Section 1119(e)].

Special Education (IDEA) Paraprofessional Requirements

IDEA has no specific requirements for paraprofessionals. The following requirements are for state funding (special education categorical aid):

  1. Be a high school graduate (or GED equivalent), and;
  2. Complete an orientation session addressing confidentiality, the services to be provided, and the policies and procedures of the local education agency concerning special education.
  3. Complete between 10-20 hours of inservice yearly, depending on length of service (may be replaced by relevant licensure)

The state Special Education Categorical Aid Reimbursement Guide has complete information

LEAs may add additional requirements.

Early Learning (Preschool-Aged At-Risk)

Assistant Teacher/Teacher Aide Qualifications:
Teacher aides/assistant teachers/paraprofessionals should have one of the following credentials:

  1. A Child Development Associate (CDA) certificate or an Associate of Arts (A.A.) in early childhood education or a related field;
  2. Have a high school diploma or a GED and completed 48 credit hours at an institution of higher education;
  3. Associate’s degree (or higher);
  4. Pass a State-approved assessment (listed above under Title I) that determines an ability to assist in instructing reading, writing, and mathematics; or reading, writing, and mathematics readiness.

KSDE recommends option #1. Options #2-4 are also acceptable. All Assistant Teachers must complete an orientation session addressing confidentiality and the services to be provided in this program.

Districts must develop a professional learning plan that includes a minimum of 15 hours of in-service training in early learning or related topics, including child abuse and neglect training, for all direct service staff, including teachers, paraprofessionals, and aides. The requirement can be found in the Preschool-Aged At-Risk Program Requirements and Assurances found at:

Paraprofessional Questions:
Evelyn Alden

Special Education, and Title Services Team

Bert Moore

Assistant Director
Doug Boline

Assistant Director
Brian Dempsey

Assistant Director
Kerry Haag

Assistant Director
Tate Toedman

Assistant Director
Dean Zajic

Team Organizational Chart (PDF)
KSDE Leadership Chart (PDF)

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