BillTracker

Concerning paraeducators (Bergquist, Muri, Ortiz-Self)

See companion.

1ST SUBSTITUTE COMPARED TO ORIGINAL:
-removes the requirement for a paraeducator certificate that must be obtained by Bparaeducators within three years, and instead requires districts to train paraeducatorsin the standards of practice using state-funded professional learning hours;
-changes the administrator of the Paraeducator Board to the PESB, rather than the OSPI;
-makes the specialty certificates in special education and ELL optional rather than a requirement for paraeducators in those programs;
-removes the requirement for the Paraeducator Board to develop rules for an advanced paraeducator endorsement;
-expands the Pipeline for Paraeducators and the Alternative Route One program

EFFECT OF HOUSE STRIKER AMENDMENT:
Maintains substantially similar provisions related to: Statewide minimum employment requirements for paraeducators, a paraeducator board, elements of the paraeducator standards, field testing of the new paraeducator programs, fees for paraeducator certificates, training for teachers and principals as it relates to their role working with paraeducators, adding standards to the paraeducator associate of arts degree and apprenticeship program requirements, and a study on the effectiveness of paraeducators in improving outcomes. Requires the paraeducator board to adopt requirements and policies for an advanced paraeducator certificate and specifies that the certificate allow a paraeducator to assist in highly impacted classrooms, assist in specialized instructional support and instructional technology applications, mentor and coach other paraeducators, and act as a short-term emergency substitute teacher. Requires the paraeducator board to adopt requirements and policies for subject matter certificates in English language learner and special education. Requires the paraeducator board to adopt requirements and policies for a general paraeducator certificate, and specifies that to be eligible for the certificate, a paraeducator must complete a four-day fundamental course of study and ten days of general courses on the state paraeducator standards of practice. Provides that paraeducators are not required to meet general paraeducator certificate requirements unless amounts are appropriated for that purpose. Requires that, beginning September 1, 2019, and subject to funding, school districts must: (1) Provide paraeducators with general courses on the standards of practice, and (2) ensure all paraeducators meet the general certification requirements within three years of completing the four-day fundamental course of study. Provides that the board must make policy recommendations, as necessary, for a paraeducator career ladder that will increase opportunities for paraeducator advancement through advanced education, professional learning, and increased instructional responsibility. Specifies the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction is the administrator of paraeducator certificates and has the authority to revoke certificates in accordance with board rules. Expands the Pipeline for Paraeducators Scholarship and alternative route to teacher certification route one programs to applicants seeking endorsements in any subject matter shortage area identified by the Professional Educator Standards Board.

EFFECT OF SENATE AMENDMENTS:
The striking amendment makes a variety of changes to paraeducator certificate provisions. First, it requires the board to establish requirements and policies for a general paraeducator certificate. A paraeducator becomes eligible for this certificate by completing a four-day fundamental course of study and 10 days of general courses on the state paraeducator standards of practice. The amendment provides that paraeducators are not required to meet the general certificate requirements unless amounts are appropriated for these courses. The amendment maintains the requirement that, if funded by the Legislature, the four-day fundamental course of study be provided to paraeducators by specified deadlines. In addition, the striking amendment requires that, beginning September 1, 2019, and subject to funding by the Legislature, school districts: (1) provide paraeducators with general courses on the standards of practice, and (2) ensure all paraeducators meet the general certification requirements within three years of completing the four-day fundamental course of study. It also specifies that the board approve, and develop if necessary, any courses required for paraeducators to meet these requirements by September 1, 2018. Next, the striking amendment requires the board to establish requirements and policies for an optional advanced paraeducator certificate, based on the recommendations of the Para Work Group. A paraeducator becomes eligible for this five-year certificate by completing 75 hours of professional development in topics related to the duties of an advanced paraeducator. The duties of an advanced paraeducator may include: assisting in highly impacted classrooms, assisting in specialized instructional support and instructional technology applications, mentoring and coaching other paraeducators, and acting as a short-term emergency substitute teacher. The board must also make policy recommendations, as necessary, for a paraeducator career ladder that will increase opportunities for paraeducator advancement through advanced education, professional learning, and increased instructional responsibilities. Furthermore, the striking amendment changes the term "specialty certificates" to "subject matter certificates." It also specifies that the SPI is the administrator of any board rules and has the power to issue any paraeducator certificates and revoke the same in accordance with board rules. Finally, the striking amendment makes the statewide minimum employment requirements for paraeducators effective September 1, 2018, rather than 2017.

Hearing Date: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 -- 1:30 pm

WA State Legislature Link:
http://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1115&Year=2017    (opens a new browser tab)