What are the potential problems with the use of paraeducators in schools?

There is no doubt that paraeducators perform some very critical functions in schools and therefore, are critical to student success. However, the following problems may exist in regards to their use and employment.

  • Paraeducators may be hired with no minimum qualifications or prior training.
  • School districts may often fail to provide appropriate in service training for paraeducators in curriculum, instruction, behavior management, teacher paraeducator roles, classroom organization, confidentiality and privacy of students and families etc.
  • Teachers may fail to provide appropriate direction, supervision, on-the job training or coaching to help paraeducators be effective in their job.
  • Presence of paraeducators may limit students’ time with the teacher and may result in the paraeducator becoming the primary service provider for certain students.