Providing Effective Financial Support to Paraprofessionals
The critical teacher shortage in the United States has increased interest in “Grow Your Own” models of talent development in many states. One of the core components of many of these programs is financial support for paraprofessionals as they pursue baccalaureate degrees and teaching credentials/licences. For the majority of paraprofessionals, the financial burden of obtaining a credential/license is the major hurdle to becoming the teacher of record of their own classroom. Districts, states, and local education agencies looking at providing this financial support have limited resources to allocate, and so must be judicious in their allocation of funds. This session will present funding models used by Los Angeles Unified School District’s Career Ladder and discuss the pros and cons of various models used, and the lessons learned from providing support for tuition, examinations, and credentialing fees. The three main goals for the session: 1. Provide evidence for the effectiveness of a career ladder to address the teacher shortage. 2. Share lessons learned on effectively budgeting financial support for paraprofessionals for maximum impact. 3. Discuss different models of financial support and their applicability to districts represented at the roundtable.