The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act requires that paraprofessionals working in programs supported by Title I funds meet one of the following requirements:
- Completed at least two years of postsecondary study
- Obtained an associate's (or higher) degree
- 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 reading, writing and mathematics.
This requirement applies immediately to paraprofessionals hired after the enactment of ESEA 2001. Existing paraprofessionals must meet one of the above requirements no later than four years after the date of enactment. In addition, all paraprofessionals, regardless of hiring date, must have earned a high school diploma or its equivalent.