Hillsborough special education aides to get raises, union says
There's been a lot of buzz recently about raising pay for special-education paraprofessionals in Hillsborough County, who start at $8.42 an hour and, when annual earnings were measured last year, lagged behind many other Florida school districts.
Union negotiations are ongoing.
But at a training session Wednesday morning for aides, teachers union representative Pam Jufko assured the group, "you will be getting something. Can't tell you what."
The mandatory training, a first for the district, runs through Thursday afternoon. Each aide will spend three 1/2 hours learning how to work effectively in a team that includes the classroom teacher and other staff who will interact with their students. Separate sessions at the schools will focus on safety issues including how to prevent students from running away from campus.
Deputy Superintendent Jeff Eakins told the group, "today is really the culmination of a lot of work." He reminded them that for many of their students, it is they - often more than the classroom teacher - who will be remembered after the children grow up and leave the school.
And he stressed the need for all school employees to take responsibility for all students, a common theme as the new school year begins.
"We have to develop a positive culture at our schools," he said.