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No Child Left Behind- FAQs - Maine Paraprofessionals and NCLBA:
- What is a paraprofessional?
What are the requirements for Title I paraprofessionals?
- In Maine, paraprofessionals are called Educational Technicians. For the purposes of Title I, Part A, a paraprofessional is an employee who works in a program supported with Title I, Part A funds.
What is the deadline for paraprofessionals who are already employed, and who must meet the federal requirement as outlined by NCLBA?
- The requirements for Title I paraprofessionals whose duties include instructional support and who were hired after January 8, 2002, must have (1) completed 60 semester hours from an accredited 2 and/or 4-year college or university, or (2) an associate’s degree or higher, or (3) a passing score on the ParaPro Assessment.
If I am enrolled in an associate’s degree program and just have a course or two to finish during spring semester 2006, will I meet the federal requirement?
- The federal requirement must be met by January 8, 2006.
What do I do when I have met the federal requirement as outlined by NCLBA?
- No, January 8, 2006, is absolute and does not allow any waivers or conditional agreements.
Do the Title I paraprofessional requirements for new paraprofessionals apply to paraprofessionals who are laid off and then recalled? In other words, are these individuals “new” or “existing” paraprofessionals?
- When you have met the federal requirement by holding an associate’s degree or higher, or by having 60 semester hours from an accredited college or university, you need to attach an official transcript to form ECP-309P and submit the documentation to your LEA’s (Local Education Agency’s) NCLBA Contact Person. The Contact Person will then forward the information/documentation to the State Certification office.
- When you have met the federal requirement with a passing score on the ParaPro Assessment you need to fill out form EFC-308P, and submit it to your LEA’s NCLBA Contact Person, who will forward it to the State Certification office.
- The Contact Person will have copies of the needed forms.
How do the new paraprofessional qualification requirements apply to paraprofessionals in a schoolwide program?
- Paraprofessionals who are regularly “pink-slipped” at the end of one school year and then rehired at the beginning of the next school year, with the result that they have continuous years of employment, are considered “existing paraprofessionals,” as their initial employment date is on or before January 8, 2002. However, an individual who has a break in service and is re-hired at some later point would be considered a new paraprofessional.
Does my associate’s degree have to be in education?
- The requirements outlined in question 1 apply to all paraprofessionals with instructional duties in a schoolwide program without regard to whether the position is funded with Federal, State or local funds. In a schoolwide program, Title I funds support all teachers and paraprofessionals.
Can an Ed Tech I meet the federal requirement?
- No, the associate’s degree only must be from an accredited college or university.
How can I prove that I have met the federal requirement?
- Yes, an Ed Tech I can meet the requirement by passing the ParaPro Assessment.
If I pass the ParaPro Assessment, will I automatically get an Ed Tech II authorization?
- When documentation arrives in the Certification office from your LEA’s NCLBA Contact Person indicating that you have met the federal requirement, a new Ed Tech authorization card, bearing the appropriate code, will be issued.
How do the new paraprofessional qualification requirements apply to paraprofessionals in a targeted assistance program?
- No, passing the ParaPro Assessment is one of the options being used to meet the federal requirement. The Ed Tech authorization requirements for the State of Maine have not changed. Sixty semester hours required by NCLBA are not the same as sixty hours of approved study which are honored by Maine’s authorization requirements.
What if a person has both instructional and non-instructional duties?
- In a Title I targeted assistance program, the requirements listed under question 1 apply to all paraprofessionals with instructional duties who are paid with Title I funds.
- In this case, the person falls under the definition of a “paraprofessional” and must meet the requirements as stated in question 1, because he or she carries out instructional support duties.
- What is required if a person performing non-instructional duties becomes an instructional paraprofessional?
- In this case, the person is a “paraprofessional as defined for Title I purposes and must meet the requirements in question 1.
- What are the requirements for paraprofessionals who work solely as translators or bilingual aides?
- A paraprofessional who is proficient in English and a language other than English and acts as a translator to enhance the participation of limited English proficient children under subpart A of Title I must have a secondary school diploma or its equivalent but does not have to meet the other requirements in question 1.
- Do the new requirements apply to volunteers?
- No. Private individuals frequently volunteer to assist teachers in the classroom and support local schools by performing a variety of tasks for limited periods of time. Since they are not paid employees of a school district, they are covered by the requirements for Title I paraprofessionals.
- What is the ParaPro Assessment?
- The Parapro Assessment is the formal test that Maine has chosen that will demonstrate that Title I paraprofessionals have the appropriate knowledge and ability to assist in instructing students.
- More information about the ParaPro Assessment can be found at www.ets.org/parapro.
- If a person got to be an Ed Tech II with 45 semester hours and the remainder in CEU’s and contact hours, does that person meet the federal requirement, or do they have to take the test?
- The Ed Tech with 45 semester hours needs to either earn 15 more semester hours or take the ParaPro.
- How do I renew my Ed Tech authorization with the Federal requirement?
- The federal requirement needs to be met only once. A code number will appear on your Ed Tech authorization card to show that you have met the federal requirement. Then you would follow the usual steps to renew your Ed Tech authorization with 3 credits of approved study every five years.
- Will the issuance of a new authorization card with the NCLBA endorsement code change the State renewal date of my Ed Tech authorization?
- No, the renewal date of the Ed Tech authorization will remain the same as it was prior to the NCLBA endorsement.