skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Electric bus movement looks to accelerate; Macron says he has not ruled out using Western troop to help Ukraine stand-up to Russia; two rural Iowa newspapers saved from extinction; BLM announces added protections for sensitive Oregon landscape.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Speaker Johnson commits to avoiding a government shutdown. Republican Senators call for a trial of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. And a Democratic Senator aims to ensure protection for IVF nationwide.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

Paraeducators Look for Recognition, Livable Wages as School Returns

play audio
Play

Friday, August 31, 2018   

Tacoma, WA - A low-paid group of educators known as paraeducators (or "paras") say it's time they received livable wages. Paras assist teachers in the classroom, often working with students with disabilities and in the special education department. Comments from Barbara Randall-Saleh ("suh-LEE"), president, Tacoma Federation of Paraeducators.

As kids in Washington state head back to school, an often-overlooked group of educators wants recognition for the work they do in the classroom. Paraeducators or "paras" assist teachers, helping students with disabilities and in special-education departments, as well as monitoring playgrounds and even changing diapers. But paras aren't paid much, sometimes relying on food banks for meals. So they, like other teachers striking across the state this week, feel it's time they're paid a living wage. Barbara Randall-Saleh heads the Tacoma Federation of Paraeducators and has been a para for more than 40 years.

"It seems like the district is constantly balancing the budgets on the backs of paras. So, we seem to be the easiest to cut and to eliminate, and so, that makes it very hard."

Teachers have approved strikes in Seattle, Vancouver and other cities over contract disputes after the Washington Legislature authorized funding this year to address the McCleary court decision, requiring the state to do more to adequately fund schools.

Even though teachers are represented by the Washington Education Association and paras are part of the American Federation of Teachers, Randall-Saleh says they've been supporting each other at school board meetings. She says paras are integral to keep schools running.

"Without our assistance in the classroom, teachers wouldn't be able to do their jobs efficiently and, to be honest, I think without paraeducators, the schools wouldn't be able to function at all."

While educators across the state were offered raises, they say more is needed to keep pay in their field competitive. School districts counter that their funds aren't limitless. Unions striking across the state continue to negotiate with their local districts.

As kids in Washington state head back to school, an often-overlooked group of educators wants recognition for the work they do in the classroom. Eric Tegethoff (TEG-it-off) explains.

fund schools

Reach Randall-Saleh at 253-473-2033.




get more stories like this via email

more stories
The Brookings Institution said the blurring of the lines between real and fake content "presents significant challenges to both sides of the political aisle." (Family Stock/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

In the 2023 legislative season, 25 states introduced legislation related to artificial intelligence and more than a dozen states enacted AI …


Health and Wellness

play sound

Advocates say Colorado legislative leaders are working to make the state a leader in addressing the youth mental health crisis. At least nine bills …

Social Issues

play sound

A coalition of organizations in Georgia is joining forces to combat the rising rate of suicide among children and teenagers. According to national …


States including California and Illinois have passed mental health legislation similar to what Michigan is now considering, without seeing increases to insurance premiums. (Drazen/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

A House bill aimed at increasing access to mental health care in Michigan could go to a vote on the House floor at any time. Rep. Felicia Brabec…

Social Issues

play sound

Rep. Ben Toma, R-Peoria, Speaker of the Arizona House, has introduced legislation with hopes to curtail illegal immigration and save Arizonans big in …

According to the World Resources Institute, more than 1,200 electric school buses are operating in the United States, with several thousand more either on order or being delivered. (Adobe Stock)

play sound

Most school and transit buses on the nation's roadways these days are still powered by diesel engines but in Wisconsin and elsewhere, there is hope …

Social Issues

play sound

By Jay Gabler for Arts Midwest.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Minnesota News Connection reporting for the Arts Midwest-Public News Service Collabo…

Environment

play sound

The remote landscape of southeastern Oregon is receiving additional protections. The Bureau of Land Management has finalized its resource management …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021