No Educator Left Behind is a series providing answers from the U.S. Department of Education to questions about the federal No Child Left Behind Act and how it will affect educators. If you have a question about No Child Left Behind, send an e-mail to Ellen Delisio, and we will submit your question to the Department of Education.
What are the requirements under the No Child Left Behind Act for people who work with special education students?
U.S. Department of Education:
According to the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), the requirements for people who work with special education students differ depending upon the situation. If a person working with special education students does not provide any instructional support (such as a person who solely provides personal care services), the person is not considered a paraprofessional under Title I, and does not have to meet the stipulations for paraprofessionals in the law.
If a person works in a Title I targeted assistance program, has instructional support duties, and is paid with Title I funds, the new paraprofessional requirements do apply. If a person works in a Title I school wide program school, and has instructional support duties, the requirements apply without regard to the source of funding that supports the position.
For more information, see section B-1 of Title I Paraprofessionals: Non-Regulatory Guidance.
Special education teachers who are the primary teachers of core subjects must meet the requirements under the highly qualified teacher section of the NCLB law. The new teacher quality provisions require educators in core academic areas to be licensed by the state, hold a bachelor's degree, and demonstrate competence in their subject areas.
The highly qualified teacher requirements took effect in Title I schools for all teachers of core academic subjects hired after the first day of the 2002-2003 school year. All other teachers in core academic areas have until the end of the 2005-2006 school year to comply with the new requirements.
For more information on the highly qualified teacher requirements, see Improving Teacher Quality State Grants: Title II Part A, Non-Regulatory Draft Guidance.
Read previous questions and answers in our No Educator Left Behind archive.