New requirements for paraeducator certificate program, COVID-19 guidance
March 18, 2020
The 2020 legislative session has ended, resulting in funds to continue the training of paraeducators on the Fundamental Course of Study (FCS) during the 2020-21 school year.
What was funded?
The legislative session came to an end on March 12, 2020, revealing an allocated amount of $26,359,000 for Washington school districts to provide four days of training (28 hours) to their paraeducators on the FCS by the end of the 2020-21 school year. This amount includes the original amount of $12,001,000 (i.e., $14,358,000 new dollars available).
What is the FCS?
A four-day (28 hour) curriculum, the FCS is the core training all paraeducators must receive before working with students and their families, or at a minimum, by established deadlines.
How are districts being reimbursed?
To receive reimbursement for training during the 2019-20 school year, districts are required to complete iGrants package 918 by September 1, 2020. School districts will be reimbursed at a rate of $218 per completed day of training per paraeducator. We will update iGrants form package 918 to address these new changes.
To receive reimbursement for the 2020-21 school year, districts must complete the training by June 30, 2021 and request reimbursement by July 15, 2021.
What is the deadline for districts to provide FCS training to their paraeducators?
School districts are required to train all returning paraeducators to the 2020-21 school year on the FCS (four days) by June 30, 2021*.
For new paraeducators hired on or before September 1, 2020:
- Districts must provide the first two days of training on the FCS by September 30, 2020 and the second two days by March 1, 2021.
For new paraeducators hired after September 1, 2020*:
- For districts with 10,000 or more students, the first two days of the FCS must be provided within four months of the date of hire and the second two days of the FCS must be provided within six months of the date of hire or by September 1, 2021, whichever is sooner (i.e., by September 1, 2021 the training must be complete).
- For districts with fewer than 10,000 students, by September 1, 2021 the training must be complete.
* RCW 28A.413.060 allows districts to provide training to paraeducators up to September 1, 2021. However, as written in the supplemental budget, districts have until June 30, 2021 to complete training and request reimbursement for completed training.
What if my district is unable to provide training on the FCS this school year due to recent school closures?
On March 13, 2020, Governor Inslee announced an order for all K-12 schools in Washington State to close for six weeks, with the support of state Superintendent, Chris Reykdal. View OSPI’s guidance and resource webpage.
The new budget language passed by the Legislature removes the requirement that two days of training on the FCS must be provided during the 2019-20 school year, and now requires four days to be completed by the end of the 2020-21 school year. As a result, school districts affected by the required closures have until the end of next school year to provide all four days of training on the FCS.
Will my district be reimbursed if we provided more than the minimum two days of training this school year?
Yes, the new budget language allows for the opportunity to reimburse school districts who chose to provide additional or complete training on the FCS during the 2019-20 school year. Districts will be reimbursed at a rate of $218 per completed day of training per paraeducator. Districts must complete a full day of training to be reimbursed.
Any outstanding questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.