Shrewsbury Paraprofessionals Association seeks community support

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Letter to the Editor logoDear Shrewsbury Community Members,

The Paraprofessionals of Shrewsbury Public Schools are here daily to provide essential support to a broad spectrum of students. We are here because we care. We care by assisting students in their efforts as they meet IEP objectives and prepare for state assessments. We care by promoting student self-advocacy and wellbeing (while during the pandemic, risking ours). We champion for each student to reach their full academic and personal potential.

It is amongst our goals to work with the district to create opportunities for a better future; not solely for the students we support, but for ourselves as well. While we strive to model the district’s commitment to community service and leadership, it has been difficult at times to feel community belonging. We are disappointed that the wages proposed by the School Committee do not bring a sense of security to our basic financial needs. As full-time employees, with a current starting hourly rate of $14.95, most Paraprofessionals are compensated less than $22,000 per year. In comparison, the average annual living wage for Worcester County is $31,262. Increasing pay to a more livable wage would not only bring modest assurance to Paraprofessional employees, but also assist in attracting more competitive candidates to fill the district’s staffing needs. 

Our hope is for the School Committee to meet our attempts at reaching a fair and equitable contract. We humbly request your support in our effort to bring the earnings of Shrewsbury Paraprofessionals to a living wage, so that we may effectively continue the work we love. Thank you for your care and attention to our matter.

 

Sincerely,

Ryan Capuzziello on behalf of the Shrewsbury Paraprofessionals Association

Worcester