Paraprofessionals deserve respect

April 14, 2022

Paraprofessionals are educators and do vital work in our schools. They shouldn't be making poverty-level wages.

Video Transcript

Speakers: Tasha B. Wilson, Paraprofessional, Spring ISD

Tasha B. Wilson: I'm Tasha Wilson. I'm an I.E.P. clerk at Spring ISD. And I'm also a graduate student at the University of St. Thomas. I have been in education for over eight plus years. I have been a nanny. A postpartum doula. I've worked as a paraprofessional and I've also taught in a private school setting, and I've also worked in the charter school setting. I have a lot of experience, but my labor of love is special education. So as I'm completing my degree from St. Thomas, I decided to come back to Spring ISD to be on the special education side. What I did not know is that the struggle of balancing trying to ensure that we stay in compliance with all of our ARDs, the long work hours, and also just making sure that everything is scheduled —because if, if the ARD does not happen, our children do not receive services. With that being said, in the process of everything that I do on a day-to- day basis, each and every pay period, I receive $610. That is barely enough to cover all of my household expenses — I'm also a caregiver for my elderly parent — and also just be able to survive day-to-day as I'm getting closer to graduation. I've always believed that paraprofessionals, they are teachers. We are a part of the educational setting, and we should be treated as such.

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