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Henrico Schools Prioritize Pay Raise for Aides

Thank goodness that Henrico County Public Schools see the importance of its instructional aides to the school system functioning well. Having high quality instructional support is vital to our children having a good school experience. And for special education children or for kids with Individualized Education Plans, the instructional aide is sometimes the thing that either makes it or breaks it for a child to have a positive experience at school.

The National Center for Paraprofessionals reported this week that Henrico will prioritize a two-step increase for full-time aides in the 2008-2009 budget.

More than 40 instructional aides from schools across Henrico County attended last night’s public hearing on the district’s proposed 2008-09 budget.

Their message was clear: Instructional aides should make at least half the salary of teachers.

One parent from the school district understands the importance of paraprofessionals:

Caroline Nelson, a Henrico parent, called these workers “the silent cog . . . that keeps the educational system moving forward.”

Fortunately, the School Board was able to understand the importance of paraprofessionals as well:

(The School Boards) identified a two-step increase for full-time aides as a priority in the budget.

That increase would give the county’s 363 full-time instructional aides, almost all of whom work in exceptional education, a nearly 9 percent pay raise.