The following details are useful for those seeking information on paraeducator professional and career development. This page will be regularly updated.
Paraeducator Minimum Employment Requirements
A person working as a paraeducator for a school district before or during the 2017-18 school year must meet the requirements below by the date of hire for the 2019-20 school year or any subsequent school year.
A person who has not previously worked as a paraeducator for a school district must meet the requirements below by the date of hire for the 2018-19 school year or any subsequent school year.
The following are paraeducator minimum employment requirements, as written into law by HB 1115 and amended by SB 6388. A paraeducator must:
Be at least eighteen years of age and hold a high school diploma or its equivalent; and
(a) Have received a passing grade on the education testing service paraeducator assessment; or
(b) Hold an associate of arts degree; or
(c) Have earned seventy-two quarter credits or forty-eight semester credits at an institution of higher education; or
(d) Have completed a registered apprenticeship program.
For further information regarding these requirements, please contact OSPI Certification.
Paraeducator Professional Development
Subject to the availability of amounts appropriated, effective September 1, 2019:
- Fundamental Course of Study: school districts must provide a four-day fundamental course of study on the state standards of practice, as defined by the board, to paraeducators who have not completed the course;
- General Paraeducator Certificate: paraeducators may become eligible for a general paraeducator certificate by completing the fundamental course of study and an additional ten days of general courses on the state paraeducator standards of practice. This certificate does not expire.
Additionally, effective September 1, 2019:
- Subject Matter Certificates: paraeducators may become eligible for a subject matter certificate in Special Education or ELL by completing twenty hours of professional development in the subject area of the certificate. Subject matter certificates expire after five years.
- Advanced Paraeducator Certificate: paraeducators may become eligible for an advanced paraeducator certificate by completing seventy-five hours of professional development in topics related to the duties of an advanced paraeducator.
Alternative Route to Teaching Block Grants
The Alternative Route to Teaching Block Grant (ARBG) provides funding for preparation programs, districts, and candidate scholarships to support alternative route programs engaging “grow your own” teacher strategies to address district need. See below for information on the current round of the Alternative Route Block Grant (ARBG), such as the grant timeline, informational videos, and application materials. Additionally, links to archived materials from past rounds of the grant can be found there.
Pipeline for Paraeducator Conditional Loan Scholarship
The Pipeline for Paraeducator Conditional Loan Scholarship Program (Parapipeline Program) provides financial support to classified instructional staff, with at least three years of classroom experience, to pursue their Associate of Arts (AA) degree in order to qualify, enroll in, and complete a two-year Alternative Route 1 program at a participating university to obtain a residency teaching certificate.