Any person employed by a Wisconsin public school as a special education program aide must hold a Special Education Program Aide License issued by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) or another valid and current DPI license or permit. Special Education Program Aide licenses are valid for five years.
Note that the DPI does not license regular education classroom aides or paraprofessionals. Educators who hold a valid and current DPI license or permit may work as a special education program aide under their DPI license. The valid DPI license or permit is acceptable for state categorical aide reimbursement for districts.
IDEA 2004 Special Education Paraprofessional Requirements
Under IDEA 2004 612 (A)(14)(B), the Wisconsin Special Education Paraprofessional meets the state requirements of the law through obtaining a Special Education Program Aide License (0070).
PI 34.34 (18) SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAM AIDE LICENSE. Any person employed by a school district as a special education program aide shall hold a license under this subsection. A license as a special education program aide may be issued to an applicant who is at least 18 years of age and is recommended by the district administrator of the employing school district, the administrator of a CESA or his or her designated official to receive a license under this section.
PI 34.01 Definitions. (4) "Aide" means a school employee who works under the direct supervision of a licensed teacher in a school or district whose responsibilities include, but are not limited to, supporting the lesson plan of the licensed teacher, providing technical assistance to the teacher, helping with classroom control or management, and other duties as assigned. Aides may not serve as substitute teachers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Special Education Paraprofessionals, Information Update Bulletin 10-05.
Wisconsin Special Education paraprofessionals are also allowed to provide support to students in Speech and Language programs. For more information, go to the Use of Paraprofessionals in Speech and Language Programs page.
For a detailed overview about supporting paraprofessionals working with students with IEPs, you can read the article Supporting Paraprofessionals to Support Students with Individualized Education Programs (IEP)s, from the Association of Wisconsin School Board Administrators’ (AWSA) website.