With schools facing what must feel like ever-shrinking budgets — the 2011 Kansas Legislature most recently slashed $100 million in state spending on K-12 education — and the ever-present reality of layoffs, paraprofessionals are showing their value.
Linda Aldridge, the general director of special services for Topeka Public Schools USD 501, said paraprofessionals are “critical” because they are becoming increasingly important to the educational process.
“These paraprofessionals, day to day, they move mountains,” Aldridge said.
Not only that, but their salaries don’t break the bank.
The Topeka Capital-Journal requested salary data for all public employees in Shawnee County for an online database, which can be found at CJOnline.com/salaries.
The average para in USD 501 makes about $10.60 an hour, which comes out to a little less than $15,000 a year if the employee works a full-time slate during the nine-month school year.