Human Resources Report

To: Michael Green

From: Vicky Barnes

Date: December 17, 2018

Subject: Human Resources Report

In past board reports I have touched on the change in minimum employment requirements for paraeducators, so I want to do a full update in this report on where we are at and what is in the future. In 2017, a nine-member Washington Paraeducator Board was created with the duty of adopting minimum employment requirements, establishing requirements for advanced paraeducator certificates, developing requirements for paraeducator subject matter certificates in ELL and special education, and approving courses required to meet the certification requirements. Most of this is dependent on funding, and so it has put on hold until funding is approved. At this time only minimum employment requirements have been adopted and put into effect.

The following are paraeducator minimum employment requirements, as written into law by HB 1115 and amended by SB 6388.

Be at least eighteen years of age and hold a high school diploma or its equivalent and in addition must meet one or more of the following:

(a) Have received a qualifying score on the Education Testing Service paraeducator assessment as published by PESB (resources to help you prepare for the ETS ParaPro); or
(b) Hold an associate degree or higher from an accredited college or university; or
(c) Have earned seventy-two quarter credits or forty-eight semester credits at the one hundred level or higher at an accredited college or university; or
(d) Have completed an apprenticeship as a paraeducator, in a program registered with the Washington State Apprenticeship and Training Council.

Any current employees working as a paraeducator in an instructional position for the school district before or during the 2017-18 school year must meet the requirements above by the date of hire for the 2019-20 school year or any subsequent school year. Since we send out letters of reasonable assurance in June, we have set a deadline of May 18, 2019.

Anyone we hire as a paraeducator for the 2018-2019 school year or any subsequent school year must meet the requirements above upon hire.

I just completed a full audit of our current employees, and we have four employees who still need to meet this requirement and will do so by taking the ETS ParaPro test. We proctor the test in HR for our employees, so there is no cost for them.

These requirements are for substitutes as well, and that is the next big audit. For some of our substitutes, they have the proof they have met the minimum requirements, so it is just getting copies for their file. For the substitutes who still need to take the test they can do this at ESD 112, and it currently costs $78.00 which the substitute covers. It is possible we may see a drop off in classified substitutes next year if substitutes don’t meet the requirement.

The goal of these new requirements is to ensure statewide professional standards and training for paraeducators, so they are equipped to support diverse student learning. If funding is provided by the legislature for the paraeducator certificates, the intent is to require training in the standards for classified staff so students will have a better chance of succeeding. There have already been discussions with the local community colleges about courses they could offer to meet the need. More to come on this topic in the future.