DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

Professional Standards Board

1584 Permits Paraeducators

Statutory Authority: Section 122(D) (14 Del.C. §122(D))14 DE Admin. Code 1584

Educational Impact Analysis Pursuant To

14 Del.C. Section 122 (D)

1584 Permits Paraeducators

A. Type of Regulatory Action Requested

Amendment to Existing Regulation

B. Synopsis of Subject Matter of Regulation

The Professional Standards Board in cooperation and collaboration with the Department of Education seeks the approval 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 DE Admin. Code 1105. It is also necessary to amend this regulation to revise the denial and revocation procedures for paraeducators.

C. Impact Criteria

1. Will the amended regulation help improve student achievement as measured against state achievement standards? The amended regulation addresses student achievement by establishing standards for paraeducators.

2. Will the amended regulation help ensure that all students receive an equitable education? The amended regulation helps to ensure that all paraeducators employed by school districts meet high standards of performance.

3. Will the amended regulation help to ensure that all students’ health and safety are adequately protected? The amended regulation addresses the credentialing and training requirements for paraeducators, not students’ health and safety issues.

4. Will the amended regulation help to ensure that all students’ legal rights are respected? The amended regulation addresses the credentialing and training requirements for paraeducators, not students’ legal rights.

5. Will the amended regulation preserve the necessary authority and flexibility of decision makers at the local board and school level? The amended regulation will preserve the necessary authority and flexibility of decision makers at the local board and school level.

6. Will the amended regulation place unnecessary reporting or administrative requirements or mandates upon decision makers at the local board and school levels? The amended regulation will not place unnecessary reporting or administrative requirements or mandates upon decision makers at the local board and school levels.

7. Will decision making authority and accountability for addressing the subject to be regulated be placed in the same entity? The decision-making authority and accountability for addressing the subject to be regulated rests with the Professional Standards Board, in collaboration and cooperation with the Department of Education, and with the consent of the State Board of Education.

8. Will the amended regulation be consistent with and not an impediment to the implementation of other state educational policies, in particular to state educational policies addressing achievement in the core academic subjects of mathematics, science, language arts and social studies? The amended regulation will be consistent with, and not an impediment to, the implementation of other state educational policies, in particular to state educational policies addressing achievement in the core academic subjects of mathematics, science, language arts and social studies.

9. Is there a less burdensome method for addressing the purpose of the amended regulation? 14 Del.C. requires that we promulgate this regulation.

10. What is the cost to the state and to the local school boards of compliance with the new regulation? There is no additional cost to local school boards for compliance with the regulation.

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.

8 DE Reg. 1560 (05-01-05)