Paraprofessional Update: Board Of Education Puts Off Vote To Feb. 27


Interim schools Superintendent Eveny Pagan said the administration needed to get more information for the Board of Education before it could take a vote on a proposal to privatize paraprofessionals.

An expected vote to privatize the school district’s 123 paraprofessionals was put off Feb. 20 by the Board of Education.

District officials said they wanted more time to gather information to answer questions posed by the public at the Feb. 17 special meeting, when more than two hours of comment was heard by the board on the proposal.

The board is now expected to take up the controversial matter at its Feb. 27 action meeting.

The district is looking to plug an expected $1.75 million gap in the 2014-2015 school year budget. Estimates show that the district could save more than $673,000 in salary costs the first year if the paraprofessionals are privatized. Those savings could grow to $1.1 million by the 2017-2018 school year, according to district estimates.

The fact that the board would not take a vote at the Feb. 20 meeting didn’t stop paraprofessionals and their supporters from speaking for about an hour at the board meeting. No one spoke in favor of the proposal, and those who spoke against it reiterated their concerns, including lack of continuity for special education students and the ability to find qualified workers.

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