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Paraeducators: Growth, Diversity and a Dearth of Professional Supports

Paraeducators perform multiple roles in U.S. classrooms, including among others preparing classroom activities, working with students individually and in small groups, supporting individualized programming for students with disabilities, managing classroom behavior, and engaging with parents and communities. Yet, little research provides insights into this key group of educators. This study combines an analysis of national administrative data to describe the paraeducator labor market with a systematic review of collective bargaining agreements and other job-defining documents in ten case-study districts. We find a large and expanding labor market of paraeducators, far more diverse along ethnic and racial lines than certified teachers but with far lower wages, fewer performance incentives, less professional development, and fewer opportunities for advancement within the profession.

Keywords
Paraeducators, Teachers, Human resources management, Mixed-methods research, Collective bargaining contracts
Education level
Document Object Identifier (DOI)
10.26300/nk1z-c164

EdWorkingPaper suggested citation:

Bisht, Biraj, Zachary LeClair, Susanna Loeb, and Min Sun. (). Paraeducators: Growth, Diversity and a Dearth of Professional Supports. (EdWorkingPaper: 21-490). Retrieved from Annenberg Institute at Brown University: https://doi.org/10.26300/nk1z-c164

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