Section 3319.088 | Educational aide permits - educational paraprofessional licenses for educational assistants.
As used in this section, "educational assistant" means any nonteaching employee in a school district who directly assists a teacher as defined in section 3319.09 of the Revised Code, by performing duties for which a license issued pursuant to sections 3319.22 to 3319.30 of the Revised Code is not required.
(A) The state board of education shall issue educational aide permits and educational paraprofessional licenses for educational assistants and shall adopt rules for the issuance and renewal of such permits and licenses which shall be consistent with the provisions of this section. Educational aide permits and educational paraprofessional licenses may be of several types and the rules shall prescribe the minimum qualifications of education, health, and character for the service to be authorized under each type. The prescribed minimum qualifications may require special training or educational courses designed to qualify a person to perform effectively the duties authorized under an educational aide permit or educational paraprofessional license.
(B)(1) Any application for a permit or license, or a renewal or duplicate of a permit or license, under this section shall be accompanied by the payment of a fee in the amount established under division (A) of section 3319.51 of the Revised Code. Any fees received under this division shall be paid into the state treasury to the credit of the state board of education licensure fund established under division (B) of section 3319.51 of the Revised Code.
(2) Any person applying for or holding a permit or license pursuant to this section is subject to sections 3123.41 to 3123.50 of the Revised Code and any applicable rules adopted under section 3123.63 of the Revised Code and sections 3319.31 and 3319.311 of the Revised Code.
(C) Educational assistants shall at all times while in the performance of their duties be under the supervision and direction of a teacher as defined in section 3319.09 of the Revised Code. Educational assistants may assist a teacher to whom assigned in the supervision of pupils, in assisting with instructional tasks, and in the performance of duties which, in the judgment of the teacher to whom the assistant is assigned, may be performed by a person not licensed pursuant to sections 3319.22 to 3319.30 of the Revised Code and for which a teaching license, issued pursuant to sections 3319.22 to 3319.30 of the Revised Code is not required. The duties of an educational assistant shall not include the assignment of grades to pupils. The duties of an educational assistant need not be performed in the physical presence of the teacher to whom assigned, but the activity of an educational assistant shall at all times be under the direction of the teacher to whom assigned. The assignment of an educational assistant need not be limited to assisting a single teacher. In the event an educational assistant is assigned to assist more than one teacher the assignments shall be clearly delineated and so arranged that the educational assistant shall never be subject to simultaneous supervision or direction by more than one teacher.
Educational assistants assigned to supervise children shall, when the teacher to whom assigned is not physically present, maintain the degree of control and discipline that would be maintained by the teacher.
Educational assistants may not be used in place of classroom teachers or other employees and any payment of compensation by boards of education to educational assistants for such services is prohibited. The ratio between the number of licensed teachers and the pupils in a school district may not be decreased by utilization of educational assistants and no grouping, or other organization of pupils, for utilization of educational assistants shall be established which is inconsistent with sound educational practices and procedures. A school district may employ up to one full time equivalent educational assistant for each six full time equivalent licensed employees of the district. Educational assistants shall not be counted as licensed employees for purposes of state support in the school foundation program and no grouping or regrouping of pupils with educational assistants may be counted as a class or unit for school foundation program purposes. Neither special courses required by the regulations of the state board of education, prescribing minimum qualifications of education for an educational assistant, nor years of service as an educational assistant shall be counted in any way toward qualifying for a teacher license, for a teacher contract of any type, or for determining placement on a salary schedule in a school district as a teacher.
(D) Educational assistants employed by a board of education shall have all rights, benefits, and legal protection available to other nonteaching employees in the school district, except that provisions of Chapter 124. of the Revised Code shall not apply to any person employed as an educational assistant, and shall be members of the school employees retirement system. Educational assistants shall be compensated according to a salary plan adopted annually by the board.
Except as provided in this section nonteaching employees shall not serve as educational assistants without first obtaining an appropriate educational aide permit or educational paraprofessional license from the state board of education. A nonteaching employee who is the holder of a valid educational aide permit or educational paraprofessional license shall neither render nor be required to render services inconsistent with the type of services authorized by the permit or license held. No person shall receive compensation from a board of education for services rendered as an educational assistant in violation of this provision.
Nonteaching employees whose functions are solely secretarial-clerical and who do not perform any other duties as educational assistants, even though they assist a teacher and work under the direction of a teacher shall not be required to hold a permit or license issued pursuant to this section. Students preparing to become licensed teachers or educational assistants shall not be required to hold an educational aide permit or paraprofessional license for such periods of time as such students are assigned, as part of their training program, to work with a teacher in a school district. Such students shall not be compensated for such services.
Following the determination of the assignment and general job description of an educational assistant and subject to supervision by the teacher's immediate administrative officer, a teacher to whom an educational assistant is assigned shall make all final determinations of the duties to be assigned to such assistant. Teachers shall not be required to hold a license designated for being a supervisor or administrator in order to perform the necessary supervision of educational assistants.
(E) No person who is, or who has been employed as an educational assistant shall divulge, except to the teacher to whom assigned, or the administrator of the school in the absence of the teacher to whom assigned, or when required to testify in a court or proceedings, any personal information concerning any pupil in the school district which was obtained or obtainable by the educational assistant while so employed. Violation of this provision is grounds for disciplinary action or dismissal, or both.
(F) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this section, the superintendent of a school district may allow an employee who does not hold a permit or license issued under this section to work as a substitute for an educational assistant who is absent on account of illness or on a leave of absence, or to fill a temporary position created by an emergency, provided that the superintendent believes the employee's application materials indicate that the employee is qualified to obtain a permit or license under this section.
An employee shall begin work as a substitute under this division not earlier than on the date on which the employee files an application with the state board for a permit or license under this section. An employee shall cease working as a substitute under this division on the earliest of the following:
(1) The date on which the employee files a valid permit or license issued under this section with the superintendent;
(2) The date on which the employee is denied a permit or license under this section;
(3) Sixty days following the date on which the employee began work as a substitute under this division.
The superintendent shall ensure that an employee assigned to work as a substitute under division (F) of this section has undergone a criminal records check in accordance with section 3319.391 of the Revised Code.