Properly trained paraprofessionals (teaching assistants) can play an important role in improving student achievement, especially in Title I schools by reinforcing and augmenting a teacher's effort in the classroom. ESEA therefore requires that paraprofessionals assigned to work directly with students in Title I programs meet higher standards of qualification.
Title I paraprofessionals whose duties include instructional support must have:
- High school diploma or the equivalent, and
- Two years of college (48 units), or
- A. A. degree (or higher), or
- Pass a local assessment of knowledge and skills in assisting in instruction.
(This is a locally approved assessment. Local education agencies may develop their own assessment or use an existing assessment so long as it measures the knowledge and skills in assisting in instruction. Many districts use the California Basic Educational Skills Test [CBEST] for this purpose).
Individuals who work in food services, cafeteria or playground supervision, personal care services, non-instructional computer assistance, and similar positions do not have to meet these requirements.
Title I Paraprofessionals Non-Regulatory Guidance (2004)
Policy guidance addressing paraprofessional qualification requirements.