Information about paraeducator requirements can be found in Section 1111(g)(2)(J) and (M) of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
(J) the State educational agency will ensure that all teachers and paraprofessionals working in a program supported with funds under this part meet applicable State certification and licensure requirements, including any requirements for certification obtained through alternative routes to certification;
(M) the State has professional standards for paraprofessionals working in a program supported with funds under this part, including qualifications that were in place on the day before the date of enactment of the Every Student Succeeds Act.
In Kentucky, the educational qualifying factors for paraeducators providing instruction in a program supported by Title I, Part A funds are the same as under The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as amended by No Child Left Behind (NCLB).
Paraeducators working in a program supported with Title I, Part A funds must have a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent. Paraeducators paid with Title I, Part A funds may meet the additional qualifying educational requirement under one of the qualifying factors listed in ESEA Section 1119(c)(1)(A-C):
(A) Completed at least two years of study at an institution of higher education;
(B) Obtained an associate's (or higher) degree; or
(C) Met a rigorous standard of quality and can demonstrate, through a formal State or local academic assessment -
(i) Knowledge of, and the ability to assist in instructing, reading, writing, and mathematics; or
(ii) Knowledge of, and the ability to assist in instructing, reading readiness, writing readiness, and mathematics readiness, as appropriate.
The Kentucky Paraeducator Assessment
The assessment used in Kentucky to demonstrate the abilities outlined in subpart C is the Kentucky Paraeducator Assessment (KPA). The KPA consists of 60 multiple choice questions designed to assess the skills mentioned above. At least 48 of the 60 questions must be answered correctly in order to pass the KPA.
It is the responsibility of the local school district to administer the KPA. The KPA is typically administered at either the district office or a local adult education center. Records of KPA test takers and scores are not currently maintained by KDE or the Educational Professional Standards Board (EPSB). For information regarding times and testing locations, contact your local school district.
The Kentucky Paraeducator Assessment Study Guide (revised 2nd edition, October 2009) will provide the applicant with information on the role of the paraeducator and the strategies for assisting with student instruction. Review of this guide will help prepare test takers for the KPA.