Sec. 300.156 Personnel qualifications

300.156 Personnel qualifications.

(a) General. The SEA must establish and maintain qualifications to ensure that personnel necessary to carry out the purposes of this part are appropriately and adequately prepared and trained, including that those personnel have the content knowledge and skills to serve children with disabilities.
(b) Related services personnel and paraprofessionals. The qualifications under paragraph (a) of this section must include qualifications for related services personnel and paraprofessionals that—
(1) Are consistent with any State-approved or State-recognized certification, licensing, registration, or other comparable requirements that apply to the professional discipline in which those personnel are providing special education or related services; and
(2) Ensure that related services personnel who deliver services in their discipline or profession—
(i) Meet the requirements of paragraph (b)(1) of this section; and
(ii) Have not had certification or licensure requirements waived on an emergency, temporary, or provisional basis; and
(iii) Allow paraprofessionals and assistants who are appropriately trained and supervised, in accordance with State law, regulation, or written policy, in meeting the requirements of this part to be used to assist in the provision of special education and related services under this part to children with disabilities.

(c) Qualifications for special education teachers. (1) The qualifications described in paragraph (a) of this section must ensure that each person employed as a public school special education teacher in the State who teaches in an elementary school, middle school, or secondary school—

(i) Has obtained full State certification as a special education teacher (including certification obtained through an alternate route to certification as a special educator, if such alternate route meets minimum requirements described in 34 CFR 200.56(a)(2)(ii) as such section was in effect on November 28, 2008), or passed the State special education teacher licensing examination, and holds a license to teach in the State as a special education teacher, except that when used with respect to any teacher teaching in a public charter school, the teacher must meet the certification or licensing requirements, if any, set forth in the State’s public charter school law;

(ii) Has not had special education certification or licensure requirements waived on an emergency, temporary, or provisional basis; and

(iii) Holds at least a bachelor’s degree.

(2) A teacher will be considered to meet the standard in paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section if that teacher is participating in an alternate route to special education certification program under which—

(i) The teacher—

(A) Receives high-quality professional development that is sustained, intensive, and classroom-focused in order to have a positive and lasting impact on classroom instruction, before and while teaching;

(B) Participates in a program of intensive supervision that consists of structured guidance and regular ongoing support for teachers or a teacher mentoring program;

(C) Assumes functions as a teacher only for a specified period of time not to exceed three years; and

(D) Demonstrates satisfactory progress toward full certification as prescribed by the State; and

(ii) The State ensures, through its certification and licensure process, that the provisions in paragraph (c)(2)(i) of this section are met.

(d) Policy. In implementing this section, a State must adopt a policy that includes a requirement that LEAs in the State take measurable steps to recruit, hire, train, and retain personnel who meet the applicable requirements described in paragraph (c) of this section to provide special education and related services under this part to children with disabilities.
(e) Rule of construction. Notwithstanding any other individual right of action that a parent or student may maintain under this part, nothing in this part 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 SEA or LEA employee to meet the applicable requirements described in paragraph (c) of this section, or to prevent a parent from filing a complaint about staff qualifications with the SEA as provided for under this part.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1820-0030)

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(14))

[71 FR 46753, Aug. 14, 2006, as amended at 82 FR 29759, June 30, 2017]