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Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Title I Paraprofessionals Hiring Requirements

Program Description

Section 1111 (g) (2) (J) of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires that the State educational agency will ensure that all paraprofessionals working in a program supported with funds under Title I, Part  A meet applicable State certification requirements. Additionally, Section 1111 (g)(2)(M) requires that the State has Professional Standards in place for paraprofessionals, "including qualifications that were in place on the day before the date of enactment of the Every Student Succeeds Act."  

Hiring Requirement Options

Therefore, Local Education Agencies (LEAs) are required to have all instructional paraprofessionals in Title I schoolwide buildings and all instructional paraprofessionals who are funded by Title I and working in a Title I Targeted Assistance program meet hiring requirements.

Video Transcript

The hiring requirements: (also see the Hiring Requirements Options flyer)

Title I paraprofessional Hiring Requirements

  • Have obtained an associate (or higher) degree, or
  • Have at least two years of post-secondary education that is equivalent to at least 48 semester hours from an accredited higher education institution, or
  • Have met a rigorous standard of quality and be able to demonstrate knowledge of and the ability to assist in instructing reading, writing, and mathematics (or, as appropriate, reading readiness, writing readiness, and mathematics readiness) by taking and passing one of the required assessments.

After July 1, 2017, the required assessment options include: (criteria is to be met or exceeded)

WorkKeys ACT

(normed assessment)

Proficiency Score:

Applied Mathematics: 4

Workplace Documents Assessment: 4

Business Writing Assessment: 3

ACT website
ACT study guide
Contact info

Parapro-Assessment ETS

(normed assessment)

Proficiency Score:



ETS website
ETS study guide
Contact info

ParaEducator Master Teacher

(normed assessment)

Proficiency Score:

Assessment 1 -
Instructional Support: 65%
Assessment 2 -
Content & Application: 70%

Master Teacher website
Master Teacher study guide
Contact information

Authentic Portfolio

(local assessment)

The paraprofessional compiles a portfolio of artifacts and evidence to demonstrate knowledge and proficiency in the WI Paraprofessional Standards. The portfolio is submitted to the LEA for scoring. See the Paraprofessional Portfolio Documentation form.

Using the Paraprofessional Portfolio Documentation form, the paraprofessional will outline the included documentation aligned to each competency for each standard. The form and portfolio artifacts will be submitted to the LEA. The LEA may then document scores for each standard competency on the Paraprofessional Portfolio Review form.


Paraprofessionals Standards

Paraprofessionals Assessment Framework 

Portfolio forms:
     Portfolio Documentation - to be completed by the paraprofessional and submitted to the LEA
     Portfolio Review - to be completed by the LEA to rate the qualifications of the paraprofessional based on the submitted Portfolio Documentation

Coming Soon:

Title I Paraprofessional Hiring Implementation Guide