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CSEA SEIU Local 2001
Paraeducator Council Blog Mar 21, 2022
Members Testify for HB5321 & Urge Legislators to Respect Paras
by Drew Stoner

On Monday, March 21st the Paraeducator Council had several members testify in front of the Education Committee in support of HB:5321 An Act Implementing Certain Recommendation of the School Paraeducator Advisory Council. This bill would establish a system of professional development for paraeducators, to convene a working group to develop recommendations for the creation of a system of professional certification for paraeducators and to require adequate notice and training about planning and placement team meetings and access to individualized education programs for paraeducators in the provision of special education services.

The idea of this bill came from the success of the School Paraeducator Advisory Council which was yet another legislative win that CSEA members and our coalition allies fought for in the 2021 Legislative Session. This advisory council (in which I sit as CSEA’s representative) met frequently over the past several months and conducted a study (which included a member survey that many of you participated in) to compile a series of legislative recommendations concerning the development of a statewide, uniform system for paraeducator qualifications, career development, pay rates, and retirement and health care benefits, among other issues critical to paraeducators. 

Members told legislators their stories and made it clear that this bill was certainly a necessary step in the right direction, but wasn't enough. 

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