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(1.35) Are districts responsible for providing a student with a paraprofessional (instructional aide)?

(1.35) Are districts responsible for providing a student with a paraprofessional (instructional aide)?

The district must provide a paraprofessional if your child needs an aide to benefit from her education including situations where your child needs an aide to assist her in a regular classroom. The district has a duty to educate special education students to the maximum extent appropriate with nondisabled peers. [34 C.F.R. Secs. 300.114 & 300.115.]

For example, a paraprofessional might be required to help a student with significant physical disabilities perform educational tasks (such as note taking), or to assist in a behavioral management program for a student with significant behavior problems.

Just as it does for related service providers, the CDE must “establish and maintain” qualifications to ensure that paraprofessionals are appropriately and adequately prepared and trained, with the “content knowledge and skills” to serve children with disabilities. These qualifications must be consistent with state-recognized certification, licensing, registration or other comparable professional requirements for paraprofessionals. These qualifications cannot be waived for a paraprofessional on an emergency, temporary or provisional basis. [34 C.F.R. Secs.300.156(a) & (b).]