(1) In addition to the highly qualified requirements for teachers, pursuant to WAC 392-172A-01085
, all school district personnel providing special education services shall meet the following qualifications:
(a) All employees shall hold such credentials, certificates, endorsements or permits as are now or hereafter required by the professional educator standards board for the particular position of employment and shall meet such supplemental standards as may be established by the school district of employment. Supplemental standards established by a district or other public agency may exceed, but not be less than, those established by the professional educator standards board in accordance with Title 181
WAC and this section.
(b) In addition to the requirement of this subsection (1), all special education teachers providing, designing, supervising, monitoring or evaluating the provision of special education shall possess "substantial professional training." "Substantial professional training" as used in this section shall be evidenced by issuance of an appropriate special education endorsement on an individual teaching certificate issued by the OSPI, professional education and certification section.
(c) Other certificated related services personnel providing specially designed instruction or related services as defined in this chapter, shall meet standards established under the educational staff associate rules of the professional educator standards board, as now or hereafter amended.
(d) Employees with only an early childhood special education endorsement may be assigned to programs that serve students birth through eight. Preference for an early childhood special education assignment must be given first to employees having early childhood special education endorsement.
(e) Certified and/or classified staff assigned to provide instruction in Braille, the use of Braille, or the production of Braille must demonstrate competency with grade two standard literary Braille code by successful completion of a test approved by the professional educator standards board pursuant to WAC 181-82-130
(f) Paraprofessional staff and aides shall present evidence of skills and knowledge necessary to meet the needs of students eligible for special education, and shall be under the supervision of a certificated teacher with a special education endorsement or a certificated educational staff associate, as provided in (g) of this subsection. Paraprofessional staff in Title 1 school-wide programs shall meet ESEA standards for paraprofessionals. Districts shall have procedures that ensure that classified staff receive training to meet state recommended core competencies pursuant to RCW 28A.415.310
(g) Special education and related services must be provided by appropriately qualified staff. Other staff including general education teachers and paraprofessionals may assist in the provision of special education and related services, provided that the instruction is designed and supervised by special education certificated staff, or for related services by a certificated educational staff associate. Student progress must be monitored and evaluated by special education certificated staff or for related services, a certificated educational staff associate.
(2) School districts must take measurable steps to recruit, hire, train, and retain highly qualified personnel to provide special education and related services to students eligible for special education. There may be occasions when, despite efforts to hire or retain highly qualified teachers, they are unable to do so. The following options are available in these situations:
(a) Teachers who meet state board criteria pursuant to WAC 181-82-110
(3) as now or hereafter amended, are eligible for a preendorsement waiver. Application for the special education preendorsement waiver shall be made to the special education section at the OSPI.
(b) In order to temporarily assign a classroom teacher without a special education endorsement to a special education position, the district or other public agency must keep written documentation on the following:
(i) The school district must make one or more of the following factual determinations:
(A) The district or other public agency was unable to recruit a teacher with the proper endorsement who was qualified for the position;
(B) The need for a teacher with such an endorsement could not have been reasonably anticipated and the recruitment of such a classroom teacher at the time of assignment was not reasonably practicable; and/or
(C) The reassignment of another teacher within the district or other public agency with the appropriate endorsement to such assignment would be unreasonably disruptive to the current assignments of other classroom teachers or would have an adverse effect on the educational program of the students assigned such other classroom teachers.
(ii) Upon determination by a school district that one or more of these criteria can be documented, and the district determines that a teacher has the competencies to be an effective special education teacher but does not have endorsement in special education, the district can so assign the teacher to special education. The teacher so assigned must have completed six semester hours or nine quarter hours of course work which are applicable to an endorsement in special education. The following requirements apply:
(A) A designated representative of the district and any such teacher shall mutually develop a written plan which provides for necessary assistance to the teacher, and which provides for a reasonable amount of planning and study time associated specifically with the out-of-endorsement assignment;
(B) Such teachers shall not be subject to nonrenewal or probation based on evaluations of their teaching effectiveness in the out-of-endorsement assignments;
(C) Such teaching assignments shall be approved by a formal vote of the local school board for each teacher so assigned; and
(D) The assignment of such teachers for the previous school year shall be reported annually to the professional educator standards board by the employing school district as required by WAC 180-16-195
(3) Teachers placed under the options described in subsection (2) of this section do not meet the definition of highly qualified.
(4) Notwithstanding any other individual right of action that a parent or student may maintain under this chapter, nothing in this section shall be construed to create a right of action on behalf of an individual student or a class of students for the failure of a particular school district employee be highly qualified, or to prevent a parent from filing a state complaint about staff qualifications with the OSPI under WAC 392-172A-05025
(5) School districts and other public agencies that are recipients of funding under Part B of the act must make positive efforts to employ, and advance in employment, qualified individuals with disabilities in programs assisted under Part B of the act.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 28A.155.090, 20 U.S.C. 1400 (c)(12)(C), 20 U.S.C. 1401 (3)(A)(i), and 20 U.S.C. 1401 (30)(C). 11-06-052, § 392-172A-02090, filed 3/1/11, effective 4/1/11. Statutory Authority: RCW 28A.155.090 and 34 C.F.R. Part 300. 09-20-053, § 392-172A-02090, filed 10/1/09, effective 11/1/09. Statutory Authority: RCW 28A.155.090(7) and 42 U.S.C. 1400 et. seq. 07-14-078, § 392-172A-02090, filed 6/29/07, effective 7/30/07.]