Q: Why is the term Title I often used when talking about this
is the largest elementary and secondary education program in the
federal budget. It provides assistance to improve the teaching and
learning of children in high-poverty schools to enable those
children to meet challenging standards. Title I is funded through
the ESEA Act.
Q: Who is a paraprofessional?
does not define a paraprofessional. However, the act does specify
the duties of paraprofessionals. These duties may include:
one-on-one tutoring for students if tutoring is provided at a time
student did not have access to a teacher;
with classroom management;
parental involvement activities;
support in library or media centers;
as a translator; or
instructional services to a student.
Q: How are paraprofessionals impacted by the legislation?
New criteria for employment have been implemented for
paraprofessionals. Paraprofessionals in a local school district
receiving money from Title I federal programs will have to meet
higher standards. These standards include
of two years of study (48 credits) at an institution of higher
associate’s (or higher) degree or;
a rigorous standard of quality and be able to demonstrate, through
a formal assessment, knowledge of and ability to assist in
reading, writing and mathematics instruction.
Paraprofessionals hired after January 2002 will need to
meet these criteria prior to employment. Paraprofessionals hired
before January 2002 have four years to complete the requirements
(January 2006). Also, effective January 2002, all
paraprofessionals in schools must
have a secondary high school diploma or its equivalent, and
provide instruction under the direct supervision of a teacher.
Q: What is meant as rigorous assessment for paraprofessionals?
of Alaska has approved the Help Assessment from Educational
Resources, Inc. to meet part of the rigorous assessment requirements.
Q: Can a paraprofessional substitute years of experience or staff
development activities in lieu of education or degree
Paraprofessionals may take the test described above instead of
meeting the education or degree requirements.
Q: What is the district doing to provide training/educational
opportunities for paraprofessionals?
The District has established a Paraprofessional Support Program to
coordinate courses on test taking strategies , study skills,
reading, writing and math.
ASD is also working on test
preparation workshops to assist instructional employees in passing
the state approved test. These workshops will be provided at no
cost for all TOTEM employees and will be offered year round and in
a variety of time slots.
Will additional funding be available to assist paraprofessionals
in meeting the requirements for employment?
The District has established a tuition reimbursement program for
TOTEM instructional employees in Title I schools.
employees will be reimbursed $150 per credit hour upon
successful completion (C or better) of approved courses
(Associate of Arts Degree in Education that may articulate to a
Bachelors Degree in Education) taken at University of Alaska
Anchorage, Alaska Pacific University, or online from University
of Alaska Southeast. A list of these programs and courses will
be available from the Training and Professional Development (TPD)
website on the ASD intranet, TOTEM website, or by contacting the
TITLE I Department at 742-4494.
Other ASD sponsored
courses, pre-approved by TITLE I and identified on the TPD
website, will also be eligible for the $150 per credit hour
employees may meet the NCLB requirements by taking courses from
other accredited universities, but will not be eligible for the
reimbursement from ASD.
Are paraprofessionals employed in non-Title I schools affected by
The requirement of two years of higher education, or an
associate’s degree, or successful completion of a formal
assessment is not a requirement for paraprofessionals in non-Title
I schools under the No Child Left Behind Act. However, every
school district that receives Title I funds must ensure that all
paraprofessionals have a secondary high school diploma or its
equivalent. There is
strong possibility that IDEA, the governing regulations for
special education, may adopt similar regulations in the next year.