Paraprofessional Quality

What's ahead for Paraprofessionals under the new law? 



Paraprofessionals across Missouri are concerned about how the new federal legislation known as ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act - also known as "The No Child Left Behind Act") will affect them. 
Will I be required to have a two-year postsecondary education? 
Can I lose my job if I don't meet this requirement? 
Is there financial support for additional education requirements? 
Do I have to go to school…can I do the work by mail or online? 
What the law says... Title I-funded teacher assistants or paraprofessionals hired after January 8, 2002, MUST have two years of postsecondary education, or pass a state or local assessment (testing, for example). Paraprofessionals already working in programs supported by Title I must meet these requirements by 2006. Some school districts may require these criteria of all paraprofessionals.
What MNEA is doing... The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is charged with developing an assessment and determining how the law will be applied. With over 30,000 members, MNEA has the greatest clout and the greatest voice of any school employee organization. MNEA is at work at both the state and national levels in the rulemaking process.
What YOU can do... To best represent you, MNEA needs to hear from paraprofessionals to ensure that your questions and concerns go directly to the table where paraprofessional assessment issues will be decided. Please complete the ANONYMOUS survey that follows and return it by mail or fax to Missouri NEA at the address on the survey. 
What's next...
Keep checking MNEA's Web site for the latest information on ESEA implementation as crucial details are worked out in the coming months. And…make sure you are a member of MNEA for your personal job protection as the law changes your working conditions.


VICTORY: Deadline for Paraprofessionals Extended

In a huge victory, the deadline for paraprofessionals to meet the "highly qualified" requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act has been extended from January 8, 2006, to the end of the 2005-2006 school year. The extension, long sought by NEA, was made public in a letter to Congressman Mike Simpson (R-ID) from Deputy Secretary of Education Raymond Simon. The letter is posted at:
As a result of the change, the timeline for paraprofessionals working in Title I schools will be the same as that of teachers.
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