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- Thursday, March 17th, 5-6PM
- Monday, March 21st, 5-6PM
- Monday, April 4th, 5-6PM
February 24, 2022
In advance of this evening's School Board vote, Jerry Jordan lauded the jointly developed Paraprofessional Career Development program.
PHILADELPHIA—"I am absolutely delighted that this evening, the School Board will vote on two resolutions that will allow our jointly developed Paraprofessional Career Development program to move forward.
"When we began contract negotiations many months ago, one of our top priorities was to provide greater support and resources for our hardworking--and underpaid--paraprofessionals. With feedback and data directly from our membership, we were able to win significantly increased pay for paraprofessionals; and we were able to fight for and win a new career development program.
"Since the settlement of our contract, my team has been working diligently with the District to strategize and design a career development program that will best support and uplift paraprofessionals. To that end, we have established a multi-pronged approach that will enable paraprofessionals to join the path that matches their needs.
"Through an expansion of the existing teacher residency program, through university partnerships, paraprofessionals with their Bachelors' degrees will be able to seek tuition-free certification while fully employed as a teacher resident.
"Further, in partnership with several universities, paraprofessionals will be able to pursue degrees and certification. Each path will be based on the current needs of the paraprofessional enrolling and will range from paraprofessionals just beginning their college program to paraprofessionals who have degrees but need teacher certification.
"I am simply thrilled that this program is coming to fruition, because I truly believe that it can be an historic step towards equity and justice. The majority of paraprofessionals in our District are Black and brown women, and it should be lost on no one that they are some of the lowest paid workers in the system.
"Further, we know that teacher diversity is sorely lacking, and with talented paraprofessionals already deeply engaged in educating our students, ensuring that we provide the resources needed for paraprofessionals to transition to teachers will be an impactful way to improve teacher diversity.
"The District and City should be proud of their commitment to this program. Further, I would be remiss not to mention that the funding for this program will come largely from the American Rescue Plan. The Biden Administration has had an instrumental role in enabling us to move forward with critical programs and initiatives such as this one.
"I am so proud of this program and of all we have done to get to this moment, and all we will do to see the program come to fruition."