(1) An LEA must ensure that each paraprofessional who is hired by the LEA and who works in a program supported with funds under subpart A of this part meets the requirements in paragraph (b) of this section and, except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, the requirements in either paragraph (c) or (d) of this section.
(2) For the purpose of this section, the term “paraprofessional”—
(i) Means an individual who provides instructional support consistent with § 200.59; and
(ii) Does not include individuals who have only non-instructional duties (such as providing technical support for computers, providing personal care services, or performing clerical duties).
(3) For the purpose of paragraph (a) of this section, a paraprofessional working in “a program supported with funds under subpart A of this part” is—
(i) A paraprofessional in a targeted assisted school who is paid with funds under subpart A of this part;
(ii) A paraprofessional in a schoolwide program school; or
(iii) A paraprofessional employed by an LEA with funds under subpart A of this part to provide instructional support to a public school teacher covered under § 200.55 who provides equitable services to eligible private school students under § 200.62.
(b)All paraprofessionals. A paraprofessional covered under paragraph (a) of this section, regardless of the paraprofessional's hiring date, must have earned a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent.
(c)New paraprofessionals. A paraprofessional covered under paragraph (a) of this section who is hired after January 8, 2002 must have—
(1) Completed at least two years of study at an institution of higher education;
(2) Obtained an associate's or higher degree; or
(i) Met a rigorous standard of quality, and can demonstrate—through a formal State or local academic assessment—knowledge of, and the ability to assist in instructing, as appropriate—
(A) Reading/language arts, writing, and mathematics; or
(B) Reading readiness, writing readiness, and mathematics readiness.
(ii) A secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent is necessary, but not sufficient, to meet the requirement in paragraph (c)(3)(i) of this section.
(d)Existing paraprofessionals. Each paraprofessional who was hired on or before January 8, 2002 must meet the requirements in paragraph (c) of this section no later than January 8, 2006.
(e)Exceptions. A paraprofessional does not need to meet the requirements in paragraph (c) or (d) of this section if the paraprofessional—
(i) Is proficient in English and a language other than English; and
(ii) Acts as a translator to enhance the participation of limited English proficient children under subpart A of this part; or
(2) Has instructional-support duties that consist solely of conducting parental involvement activities.