Letter: Paras often do more than their job description and need to be recognized

The following is a letter to the editor submitted to the newspaper by a reader. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Echo Press. To submit a letter, send it to or Echo Press, P.O. Box 549, Alexandria, MN 56308.

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To the editor:

As a taxpayer and former employee of the Parkers Prairie School District as a paraprofessional for 21 years, I feel I need to express my concerns regarding information in the June 27 issue of the Independent Newspaper. One of the most disturbing parts of the article was the question of “less paras be hired.”

I would think that everyone would realize that paras make a huge impact on the education of the children with whom they work. They work alongside the teachers. Some work with different students throughout the day. When working with special education students, sometimes individuals need a 1-to-1 para with them all day. If these students have an IEP (Individualized Education Plan), they need a para, and almost all the paras that work in our district are special education paras. Paras also perform playground duty, cafeteria duty and transportation of students. Paras often do more than their job description and need to be recognized by the administration. Perhaps if staffing was met as needed, the morale in both schools would improve. It would be absurd to think hiring fewer paras is going to be beneficial for the kids or teachers because that is why paras do what they do.

Bea Skoglund
Parkers Prairie, MN

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