The Berks-Mont News (

Letter to the Editor: Brandywine Para responds to letter on other side of debate

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Dear Editor,
I’m writing about the article in the March 14, 2013 “Shed light on the other side of debate.” I am a paraprofessional in a school district that is discussing the possibility of outsourcing. But first, I would like to respond about the taxpayers. The tax payers do not pay for all of the Para’s benefits. The district’s taxes mainly go to the administration to disperse however they decide. As stated in the paper Para’s only make $9.50 an hour. That roughly turns out to be $11,000 to $12,000 a year. How can someone survive on that low of an income? If Para’s were about money, we wouldn’t be doing this job. We as a whole actually feel a satisfaction about helping children in need.
How you feel your child’s education would be “far” better without Para’s is beyond me. Teachers would have to stop in the middle of a lesson and handle an outburst or tantrum. Which may and can include a child throwing objects, overturning chairs, hitting, spitting and maybe even biting? This is where the paraprofessionals come into play. We alleviate the stress on the teacher as well as the students. Outsourcing Para’s is not the answer to the financial downfall in a school district.
So you’re saying; you want to risk a lawsuit and not have dedicated, willing to work caring Para’s that have given years of a reliable service to help children with special needs and help other children as well. Para’s help special needs children so that they may interact and be a part of a main streamed classroom. Bringing in an outsourcing company will only bring a high turnover rate and people who don’t care about the children like we do or even know the children the way we do. We the children’s triggers and can alleviate any kind of incident without interrupting the class.
There are other options other than outsourcing. Let’s start with the administration. Does a superintendent really need to make $144,000 a year? I’m not sure if this is before or after their pay raise. (This is now 3 percent). How can they afford a raise when the district is not financially stabilized? So, that’s why they want to outsource paraprofessionals! That’s your tax dollars at work! If you calculate the Para’s salary per year; Superintendent pay is equivalent 13-14 Para’s salaries per year!
Do we really need a principal or vice principal needed at every school building? I say we start at the top and work down. “The people who make the most difference are the ones in the classroom!”
“Before you have an article printed make sure you have the proper facts first! The paraprofessional’s contract is confidential!!!”
Thank you,
Lyn Hilbert of Longswamp
Brandywine Paraprofessional