Federal Funds and Teacher Qualifications

As a direct result of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015 (2015) teacher certification language was revised and amended. Current education law, requires educators to achieve full State certification and licensure.

The enactment of the ESSA removed the federal Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) requirements.  Although no longer a requirement in general for the majority of educators, HQT continues to be a requirement for special educators in Maine. This is due to the language contained within Chapter 101 of Maine Unified Special Education Regulations (MUSER).   The Maine DOE is planning to remove HQT language when the rule is revised again , likely during the 2018-19 legislative session.  In the meantime, NEO, Maine’s Data System will continue to ask for HQT information.

School Administrative Units (SAUs) are required under §  1112 of ESSA to inform parents of their right to know and request professional teacher qualifications for all teachers and paraprofessionals in all public SAU’s in the State of Maine.

If requested SAU’s are to provide the following information :

  1. if the teacher has met State certification and licensing requirements for the grade levels and subjects for which the teacher provides instruction:
  2. if state certification and licensing requirements have been waived (is not being required at this time) for the teacher under emergency or temporary status;
  3. if the teacher is teaching in the field of discipline for which they are certified or licensed;
  4. if the teacher has met State-approved or State-recognized certification, licensing, registration, or other comparable requirements These requirements apply to the professional discipline in which the teacher is working and may include providing English language instruction to English learners, special education or related services to students with disabilities, or both; and
  5. if your child is receiving Title I or Special Education services from paraprofessionals, his or her qualifications.
HQT Required Comment
Yes No
Teacher Must meet full certification requirements
Paraprofessional If working with Title I students OR a Title I Schoolwide Program
Special Education Teacher

If you have questions regarding Highly Qualified Status or Teacher qualifications please contact Jan Breton, Director of Special Services at jan.breton@maine.gov  or Charles Lomonte, Title II Coordinator/ State Ombudsman at charles.lomonte@maine.gov