DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

Professional Standards Board

14 DE Admin. Code 1584

Statutory Authority: 14 Delaware Code,

Section 122(D) (14 Del.C. §122(D))

REGULATORY IMPLEMENTING ORDER

1584 Permits Paraeducators

I. Summary of the Evidence and Information Submitted

The Professional Standards Board, acting in cooperation and consultation with the Department of Education, seeks the consent of the State Board of Education to amend 14 DE Admin. Code 1584 Permits Paraeducators.. It is necessary to amend this regulation to remove bus aides from the paraeducator permit, as their qualifications are addressed in 14 DE Admin. Code 1105. It is also necessary to amend this regulation to revise the denial and revocation procedures for paraeducators.

Notice of the proposed amendment of the regulation was published in the News Journal and the Delaware State News on April 26, 2005, in the form hereto attached as Exhibit “A”. The notice invited written comments. No comments were received.

II. FINDINGS OF FACTS

The Professional Standards Board and the State Board of Education find that it is appropriate to adopt this regulation.

III. DECISION TO ADOPT THE REGULATION

For the foregoing reasons, the Professional Standards Board and the State Board of Education conclude that it is appropriate to amend the regulation. Therefore, pursuant to 14 Del.C. §1205(b), the regulation attached hereto as Exhibit “B” is hereby adopted. Pursuant to the provision of 14 Del.C. §122(e), the regulation hereby amended shall be in effect for a period of five years from the effective date of this order as set forth in Section V. below.

IV. TEXT AND CITATION

The text of the regulation amended shall be in the form attached hereto as Exhibit “B”, and said regulation shall be cited as 14 DE Admin. Code 1584 of the Administrative Code of Regulations of the Department of Education.

V. EFFECTIVE DATE OF ORDER

The effective date of this Order shall be ten (10) days from the date this Order is published in the Delaware Register of Regulations.

APPROVED BY THE PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS BOARD THE 2ND DAY OF JUNE, 2005

Harold Roberts, Chair Sharon Brittingham

Norman Brown Heath Chasanov

Edward Czerwinski Angela Dunmore

Karen Gordon Barbara Grogg

Bruce Harter Valerie Hoffmann

Leslie Holden Carla Lawson

Mary Mirabeau Gretchen Pikus

Karen Schilling Ross Carol Vukelich

FOR IMPLEMENTATION BY THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION:

Valerie A. Woodruff, Secretary of Education

IT IS SO ORDERED THIS 16TH DAY OF JUNE, 2005

STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION

Dr. Joseph A. Pika, President

Jean W. Allen, Vice President

Richard M. Farmer, Jr.

Mary B. Graham, Esquire

Valarie Pepper

Dennis J. Savage

Dr. Claibourne D. Smith

1584 Permits Paraeducators

1.0 Content:

Pursuant to 14 Del.C. §1205(b) this regulation shall apply to the qualifications required of Title I Paraeducators, Instructional Paraeducators, and Service Paraeducators employed, either full-time or part-time, in support positions in public schools.

2.0 Definitions:

The following words and terms, when used in this regulation, shall have the following meaning unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

“Associate’s or Higher Degree” means that the degree is conferred by a regionally accredited institution of higher education or by a distance education institution that is regionally or nationally accredited through an agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education.

“Completed at Least 2 Years of Study at an Institution of Higher Education” means the satisfactory completion of a minimum of 60 semester hours of instruction at a regionally accredited institution of higher education or by a distance education institution that is regionally or nationally accredited through an agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education, in general or educational studies, including reading, writing, and mathematics content and pedagogy, unless the institution of higher education defines two years of full-time study as the successful completion of a minimum of 48 semester hours, and provides documentation of such definition.

“Department” means the Delaware Department of Education.

“Instructional Paraeducator” means a public school employee who provides one-on-one or small group instruction; assists with classroom management or individual student behavior; provides assistance in a computer laboratory; provides support in a library or media center; assists in training and support with functional skill activities, such as personal care or assistive technology; or provides instructional services to students under the direct supervision of a teacher. Instructional paraeducators are those working with regular education students and students with disabilities in schools other than Title I schoolwide schools or with students not receiving Title I services in Title I targeted assistance schools.

“Paraeducator”, as used herein, means a paraprofessional, as it is used in 14 Del.C. §1205. Paraeducators are not “educators” within the meaning of 14 Del.C. §1202 (6).

“Permit” means a document issued by the Department that verifies an individual’s qualifications and training to serve as a Title I, instructional or service paraeducator.

“Secretary” means the Secretary of the Delaware Department of Education.

“Service Paraeducator” means a public school employee who provides support services other than instructional assistance to students, but does not include bus aides (See 14 DE Admin. Code 1105).

“Standards Board” means the Professional Standards Board of the State of Delaware as established in response to 14 Del. C. §1205.

“State Board” means the State Board of Education of the State of Delaware established in response to 14 Del.C. §104.

“Title I Paraeducator” means a public school employee who provides one-on-one or small group instruction; assists with classroom management; provides assistance in a computer laboratory; provides support in a library or media center; or provides instructional services to students under the direct supervision of a teacher. Additionally, Title I paraeducators are all instructional paraeducators who work with regular students and children with disabilities in Title I schoolwide schools and all Title I paraeducators who work with children receiving Title I services in Title I targeted assistance schools, except those whose duties are limited to acting as a translator or as a home-school liaison.

3.0 Title I Paraeducators. A Title I paraeducator must hold a Title I paraeducator permit.

3.1 The Department shall issue a permit to a Title I paraeducator applicant who submits evidence to his/her district, charter school, or other employing authority of:

3.1.1 completion of at least two years of study in general or educational studies at an institution of higher education; or

3.1.2 receipt of an associate’s or higher degree; or

3.1.3 evidence of a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent, and a passing

score on a rigorous assessment of knowledge of, and the ability to assist in, the instruction in reading,

writing, and mathematics.

3.1.3.1 Assessments which are accepted as providing evidence of knowledge and ability to assist in the instruction in reading, writing, and mathematics include:

3.1.3.1.1 Para Pro assessment with a qualifying score of 459 or higher.

3.1.3.1.2 Accuplacer Test, if taken before April 1, 2003, with the following qualifying scores:

3.1.3.1.2.1 Mathematics: greater than or equal to a total right

score of 94 on arithmetic.

3.1.3.1.2.2 English: greater than or equal to a total right score

of 87.

3.1.3.1.2.3 Reading: greater than or equal to a total right score

of 78.

3.1.3.1.3 Such alternative as may be established by the Standards Board, with the approval of the State Board.

3.2 Pursuant to the provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act, Title I paraeducators hired after January 8, 2002 must meet the requirements set forth in 3.1 immediately.

3.3 Notwithstanding the above, and pursuant to the provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act, Title I paraeducators hired before January 8, 2002 must hold a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent and shall have until January 8, 2006 to meet the requirements of 3.1.

3.3.1 Accordingly, Title I paraeducators hired before January 8, 2002 who do not meet the requirements set forth in 3.1 above, with the exception of the high school diploma or its recognized equivalent, shall be issued a Title I paraeducator permit which shall expire on January 8, 2006 unless evidence of meeting the requirements set forth in 3.1 above is provided prior thereto. If such evidence is provided to the Department prior to January 8, 2006, the permit shall expire five years from the date of issuance and may be renewed pursuant to 5.0.

3.4 Application Procedures.

3.4.1 The district, charter school, or other employing authority shall submit the approved application form, official transcripts or official scores on an assessment of knowledge of, and the ability to assist in, the instruction in reading, writing, and mathematics, to the Department on behalf of the applicant. The district, charter school or other employing authority shall certify as part of the application form that the applicant, in their opinion, meets the requirements of 3.0.

3.4.1.1 Official transcripts shall be forwarded directly from the issuing institution

or by the applicant in an unopened, unaltered envelope to the district, charter school or other employing authority.

3.4.1.2 Test scores shall be official and sent directly from Educational Testing Service or other test vendor to the district, charter school or other employing authority. Unopened, unaltered envelopes containing test scores sent to an individual may be accepted as official. The Department shall determine whether the scores, as presented, are acceptable.

4.0 All instructional paraeducators and service paraeducators must hold the appropriate permit. The Department shall issue a permit to an instructional paraeducator applicant or a service paraeducator applicant for whom the district, charter school, or other employing authority has submitted a Department approved application form and who provides evidence of a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent.

4.1 Notwithstanding the above, instructional paraeducators and service paraeducators hired before February 11, 2004 and who do not have a high school diploma may be issued the applicable permit which shall expire January 8, 2006 unless evidence of a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent is provided prior thereto. If such evidence is provided prior to January 8, 2006, the permit shall expire five years from the date of issuance and may be renewed pursuant to section 5.0

5.0 Unless stated otherwise herein, a Title I, instructional, or service paraeducator permit shall be valid for five years from the date of issuance. The Department shall renew a paraeducator permit, valid for an additional five years, to a paraeducator whose school district, charter school, or other employing authority provides evidence to the Department of successful completion of a minimum of 15 clock hours of professional development.

5.1 Fifteen clock hours of professional development is required to be completed during the term of validity of the paraeducator permit.

5.2 Options for Renewal: The following professional development activities are approved options for the renewal of a paraeducator permit. Unless otherwise stated, there is no limit to the number of hours that may be taken in any of the options listed below:

5.2.1 College credit completed at a regionally accredited college or university with a grade of “C” or better or a “P” in a pass/fail course (1 semester hour equals 15 clock hours).

5.2.2 Planned school professional development day (maximum 6 clock hours per day).

5.2.3 Professional conference, workshop, institute, or academy that contributes to the participant’s knowledge, competence, performance, or effectiveness as a paraeducator (verified clock hours actively involved in workshop or conference sessions).

5.2.4 Participation on school, district, or state-sponsored committee which has as its focus curriculum, instruction, or school or district improvement (verified clock hours of service or experience).

6.0 An applicant shall disclose his or her criminal conviction history upon application for any paraeducator permit. Failure to disclose a criminal conviction history is grounds for denial or revocation of a paraeducator permit as specified in 14 Del.C. §1219.

7.0 A Paraeducator Permit may be denied an applicant upon a finding that an applicant has failed to meet the requirements set forth herein or is unfit to be issued a permit in the State. In accordance with 14 DE Admin. Code 1513 or A Paraeducator Permit may be revoked upon the dismissal of the permit holder for immorality, misconduct in office, incompetence, willful neglect of duty or disloyalty, and must be revoked upon a finding that the permit holder made a materially false or misleading statement in his or her permit application in accordance with 14 DE Admin. Code 1514. A Paraeducator whose Permit has been denied or revoked may file a request for a hearing with the Secretary within ten (10) days of receipt of the notice of denial or revocation. The Secretary’s decision shall be final.

9 DE Reg. 139 (07/01/05)(Final)