Highly Qualified Status Notifications under the transition to ESSA: No longer enforced for teachers; still required for paraprofessionals


The U.S. Department of Education (USED) indicated that they will not enforce most of the requirements related to highly qualified staff in a recently released guidance document. While verification and notifications of highly qualified staff will not be enforced, verification of some staff members is still required in certain cases. 

This spring the USED released a Frequently Asked Questions document titled “Transition to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)” in which they indicated that they would not be enforcing most of Section 1119, related to the annual verification of “highly qualified” status for teachers during the 2016-2017 school year.

Although it is not specifically addressed in the FAQ, through communication with one of our State partners, we have learned that USED is still requiring this verification form during the 2016-2017 school year specifically for information about paraprofessionals. Therefore, principals will still need to complete the form, “Annual Principal Verification of Highly Qualified Staff Requirements” for parapforessionals.

This form is available in multiple languages for easy download and completion to active ESEA/NCLB subscribers. When completing this form for 2016-2017:

  • Complete the sections that relate to paraprofessionals
  • Check with your state regarding state-specific teacher qualifications statements

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact us at 425.977.2100, Option 3 or email at support@transact.com.

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Dr. David Holbrook

About The Author

Dr. David Holbrook is a nationally recognized leader in federal programs administration and monitoring with expertise in Title I, Title III, Native American Education, and Federal Programs. Dr. Holbrook has also worked as a consultant with Title III of the US Department of Education and now serves as Executive Director, Federal Compliance and State Relationships with TransAct.