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ESEA and Paraprofessionals

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) authorizes and regulates the majority of federal K —12 education programs. Congress first enacted the law in 1965 to improve achievement among poor and disadvantaged students.

Every five to six years, Congress must reauthorize the law; however, Congress allocates funds annually. Over the years Congress has amended and added to the original law in order to raise standards, build in accountability and provide flexibility to schools and districts in the use of federal education dollars so that they can continue to help disadvantaged children.

The most recent reauthorization of the law, The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), renamed the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001, established laudable goals -- high standards and accountability for the learning of all children, regardless of their background or ability.

However, the law must be fundamentally improved and federal lawmakers need to provide adequate funding if NCLB is to achieve its goal. NEA is in the forefront of the effort to improve the No Child Left Behind Act.

Changes for paraprofessionals

Title I is the largest and best known program in ESEA, although it is only one of many programs in the law. Paraprofessionals play a central role in many Title I programs. Working alongside teachers, they provide the extra academic support that students will need to meet the new high standards of achievement.

In the past, paraprofessionals funded by Title I were only required to have a high school diploma, and there were no limits on their duties. ESEA 2001 contains some significant changes involving the paraprofessionals’ qualifications and duties. Just as with teachers, the law lists new educational requirements in order to continue as or become a Title I paraprofessional. In addition, the new ESEA law specifically list the duties that paraprofessionals may perform.

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) authorizes and regulates the majority of federal K —12 education programs.

Congress first enacted the law in 1965 to improve achievement among poor and disadvantaged students. Every five to six years, Congress must reauthorize the law; however, Congress allocates funds annually.

Over the years Congress has amended and added to the original law in order to raise standards, build in accountability and provide flexibility to schools and districts in the use of federal education dollars so that they can continue to help disadvantaged children. 

The most recent reauthorization of the law, The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), renamed the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001, established laudable goals -- high standards and accountability for the learning of all children, regardless of their background or ability.

However, the law must be fundamentally improved and federal lawmakers need to provide adequate funding if NCLB is to achieve its goal. Congress has to reauthorize the legislation in 2007, offering an opportunity to make it more workable and more responsive to the real needs of children.

NEA is in the forefront of the effort to improve the No Child Left Behind Act. We have developed a comprehensive Positive Agenda for the ESEA Reauthorization that spells out detailed recommendations to make the law better.

Changes for paraprofessionals

Title I is the largest and best known program in ESEA, although it is only one of many programs in the law. Paraprofessionals play a central role in many Title I programs.

Working alongside teachers, they provide the extra academic support that students will need to meet the new high standards of achievement.

In the past, paraprofessionals funded by Title I were only required to have a high school diploma, and there were no limits on their duties. ESEA 2001 contains some significant changes involving the paraprofessionals’ qualifications and duties.

Just as with teachers, the law lists new educational requirements in order to continue as or become a Title I paraprofessional. In addition, the new ESEA law specifically list the duties that paraprofessionals may perform.


RELATED TOPICS

  • anc_dyn_linksFor ESPs — Paraprofessionals and ESEA
  • anc_dyn_linksFor Teachers - Understanding How ESEA Affects Paraprofessionals
  • anc_dyn_linksFor Administrators - Understanding How ESEA Affects Paraprofessionals
  • anc_dyn_linksNo Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) | ESEA
    NEA's main NCLB/ESEA section