ESEA Brochure - 'No Child Left Behind Law'

The ESEA and Ed Techs

On January 8, 2002, President Bush signed into law the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, also known as the ESEA or "No Child Left Behind" law.

This law requires all ed techs working in Title I-funded programs to meet new federal employment requirements.

This brochure is designed to help Maine's ed techs understand who is covered by the new requirements, what the new requirements are, and what they should do to maintain their eligibility to work after January 8, 2006.

What is the ESEA?

The ESEA, also known as the "No Child Left Behind" law, provides federal money to states and local school systems in return for implementing national programs.

Maine educators will be affected by the following new ESEA requirements:

  • AYP: every Maine school must show "adequate yearly progress" (AYP) on the MEAs (Maine Educational Assessment) or other annual assessments of student achievement.
  • Teacher Quality: most Maine teachers must meet new federal employment requirements. Every ed tech who provides instruction in a program funded by Title I must also meet federal employment requirements.
  • School Choice and Supplemental Services: schools that do not show AYP must offer school choice and supplemental educational services to their students.

What should I do?

  1. Determine whether you are covered by the new law's requirements. Ask your supervisor for assistance. You are covered if:
    • You are working in a job funded with Title I funds, and you are providing instructional services, OR
    • You work in a school that uses its Title I funds for the entire school, called a Schoolwide Program. In this kind of school, even the special education ed techs are covered by the new requirements if they provide instructional services.
  2. Decide whether or not you have already met the requirements through one of the three routes described in the box on the other side.
    • If yes, complete and submit your selfevaluation form.
    • If no, decide which option you will use to meet the federal requirements. If you are close to the requirement of two years of college study, that route may be best for you. If you are not, taking the ParaPro exam may be your best option. More information about resources for college study and the ParaPro exam can be found in Resources.
  3. Check with your local Association. Many contracts provide for college tuition reimbursement.

What are the new requirements for ed techs?

By January 8, 2006, all instructional ed techs funded by Title I money must meet certain requirements under federal law. At this time (September, 2003) other ed techs are not affected by the new requirements. The state of Maine has established three options for meeting those requirements in Maine. Ed techs covered by the new requirements must qualify by one of the following routes:

  1. Hold an associate's degree or higher OR
  2. Have completed the equivalent of two years of college study, sixty college credits OR
  3. Achieve a passing score on the ParaPro exam.

There is no "grandfathering". Title I ed techs who do not provide instructional services are exempted from the requirements.


How will this affect my ed tech authorization?

At this time there is no connection between your ed tech authorization status and your status under ESEA. However, any coursework you take to meet the new requirements may also be used to fulfill your authorization renewal requirements.


What will happen if I do not meet the new requirements by January 8, 2006?

After January 8, 2006, school systems are required by federal law to employ only ed techs who meet the new requirements in Title I instructional positions. Enforcement systems have not yet been developed.

Every Title I-funded ed tech in Maine will receive a form to report completion of the ESEA requirements to the Maine Department of Education.


The ParaPro exam has been designed for ed techs by Educational Testing Services, who also offer SATs and the Praxis exams for teachers. It tests basic math and language arts skills, as well as knowledge about methods for teaching those subjects.

The passing score for Maine educators will be set in the fall of 2003 in consultation with ed techs working in Maine schools. The ParaPro exam will be available at Maine test centers, and costs $40 to take. For more information about the test, including sample questions, see Resources.


Is there any money to help pay for courses or pay the test fee?

The ESEA provides every school system with money under Title 11 A to help ed techs take courses or pass the ParaPro exam. To find out your school system's ESEA grant, see Resources.


The MEA web site is constantly updated with information and links about important ESEA information, such as the ParaPro test in Maine, local funds to help educators meet the ESEA requirements, filling out your self-evaluation form for ESEA requirements, and the details of the ESEA law. Check it often at www.maine.nea.org/dir4/esealaw.htm

Maine Education Association Instruction & Professional Development 35 Community Dr., Augusta, ME 04330 207-622-5866 800-452-8709

Related Links

U.S. Department of Education
Information on the Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)
http://www.ed.gov/blog/topic/esea-reauthorization/

Maine Education Association
http://www.maineeducationassociation.org/

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