The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, requires that Local Education Agencies (LEAs) ensure that all Title I paraprofessionals who provide instructional support in a Title I Schoolwide building, without regard to how the position is funded or those who work in a Title I Targeted Assisted building and are paid in part or in full with Title I funds are required to meet the highly qualified guidelines required in Section 1111(g)(2)(m). All instructional paraprofessionals are required to work under the direct supervision of a licensed staff member.
The highly qualified guidelines for Title I paraprofessionals should be attained before being hired by the LEA. These qualifications must include:
- Have a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent
- Completed 60 semester credit hours at a regionally accredited institution of higher education -or-
- Obtained an associate’s (or higher) degree -or-
- Met a rigorous standard of quality and be able to demonstrate, through a formal State or local academic assessment, knowledge of and the ability to assist in instructing, reading, writing, and mathematics (or, as appropriate, reading readiness, writing readiness, and mathematics readiness). In Arkansas, the formal test accepted is the Educational Testing Services (ETS) Parapro Assessment” and applicants must obtain a passing score of 457.
Please notice that per recent guidance from the USED, DESE is not allowed to accept the Child Development Associates Credential (CDA) or any other credential as a substitute for the highly qualified requirements. As a result, all paraprofessionals in Title I schools currently working under Child Development Associates Credential (CDA) or Staff Qualification Plan Agreement (SQP) must meet any of the highly qualified guidelines described above before August 1, 2023.
For the SY 22-23, the DESE Title I office will submit information to Federal Program Coordinators on how to provide copies of the Title I Paraprofessional qualifications in January 2023. Please see below important information that might help during the transition period for paraprofessionals working under CDAs.
For general ParaPro Praxis info: https://www.ets.org/parapro/
ETS ParaPro application for districts to be a testing site:
Taking the Test at Home or School: using a secure room. The ParaPro Assessment (For Test Takers) (ets.org) and At Home Testing Equipment Requirements and Registration (ets.org)
DESE Paraprofessional Praxis Tutoring available: Ed Effectiveness and Licensure has grants paying a 30-day enrollment in 240 Tutoring, including the Praxis ParaPro (1755). This is the link to our grant application/request
for more information, please contact Mr. Michael K. Rowland at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any questions, please contact Elizabeth Gomez at 501-682-5295 or Elizabeth.Gomez@ade.arkansas.gov