As a past paraeducator, I will attest that the use of the paraeducator position is the litmus test of any teacher’s overall effectiveness in and outside the classroom.
Children respond aptly to individual and small-group instruction focused on learning gaps. The Legislature should instead focus on the erosion of learning time taken from the 180-day curriculum by the abundance of mandated one-half days. These are taken generally for teachers’ professional development.
Good teachers earn their pay as they must perform every school day. However, their development shouldn’t be at the expense of those whom they teach. Half days should be eliminated and teachers should be compensated for development outside the 180 days of required classroom time.