How to Get a State Paraprofessional Approval Letter

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The federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law requires that all special education teacher aides hold the appropriate approval for their position. Teacher aides who work in Title 1 programs or schools must hold both state and NCLB approval. Aides who work in programs or schools that do not receive Title 1 funding must only hold state approval. In order to obtain state approval, prospective teacher aides must meet state qualification requirements and complete an application process.

Meet Approval Requirements

  • Provide evidence of completion of a high school diploma or equivalent. A copy of your high school diploma, high school transcript or notification that you passed the GED will suffice.

  • If you don't work in a Title 1 school or program, earn the requirements for state only approval. The requirements for state only approval are earning a minimum of 30 semester hours of college credit from a regionally accredited postsecondary institution; completion of a state approved training program; earning an acceptable score on the ETS ParaPro assessment; or earning an acceptable score on ACT WorkKeys assessments in addition to either a formal evaluation verifying a satisfactory work performance rating or a letter from your school district verifying your efficacy working in a classroom environment.

  • If you work in a Title 1 school or program, earn the requirements for state and NCLB approval. The requirements for state and NCLB approval are earning a minimum of 60 semester hours of college credit from a regionally accredited postsecondary institution; earning an associate's degree or higher from a regionally accredited postsecondary institution; scoring a minimum of 460 on the ETS ParaPro assessment; passing the ACT WorkKeys assessments in Applied Mathematics; Reading for Information and Writing and providing evidence of satisfactory on-the-job performance; earning state paraprofessional approval plus 300 Professional Training Points (PTPs); or passing a state-approved local academic assessment that meets federal criteria.

Complete the Application Process

  • Request an application for approval from your state board of education. Complete the application in its entirety. Submit copies of any required supporting documents, such as transcripts, performance evaluations and verification letters.

  • Wait for notification from your state board of education. Once you receive notification of approval, inform your principal and school district immediately.

  • Make several copies of your approval letter. Submit any required copies to your principal and local school district. Request that a copy be kept in your personnel file. Keep a copy for your personal files at home.

References

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