If There Were Enough People/resources, Should Every School Student Have a Para

Updated on July 11, 2012
E.H. asks from Westtown, PA
26 answers

If there were enough people/resources, should every school student have a para regardless of disability status?
Para = paraprofessional
Why or why not?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Austin on

No.... people need to learn to work independently... not having someone always telling them what to do, or how to do it.

I'm a para in a public middle school... I work as an inclusion aide in classes to assist those who need extra assistance... I also assist ANY student that needs help.

There is enough enabling going on as it is!

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

No way. I agree that this sounds a little too much like enabling! I do agree that smaller class sizes and two adults per room would be much better! I taught third grade and although my class sizes were reasonable, I would have killed for another educated (not even a teacher, just someone with a clue) person to be there every day to run groups, help with projects, etc.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on


no, ideal class size should be around 12 kids though.

Geez this is going to sound mean but if the students wtih special needs werent' in the class with the others you could bump that number up higher and still have them learning appropriate content. I don't think that is the best for All concerned, though.

why are you asking??

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Dallas on

You mean in school every child would have a paraprofessional, one on one, all day?? So a class of 22 kids would have 22 adults sitting with them to help them along? So a building with 500 kids would have 500 paraprofessionals? Holy cow, that's a lot of people!
I don't think I understand your question.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

No, not every child needs it. I was a strong student who was wired for traditional education. Any extra "help" would have been a complete waste of time and resources.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

That's called a private tutor... or homeschooling.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

No. That's what a parent is for. Help your child when they get home from school. Parents are already (apparently, I have learned today) fairly unaccountable for what their children do...let's take some of that accountability back.

The real purpose of a para, in my mind, is to help a disabled student who can't be homeschooled because the parents don't have the ability and/or resourced to do so, or choose not to. Not to help Jimmy learn his times tables because mommy's too busy.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

At some point they need to be able to be independent. Part of learning is learning to listen, and follow through without hands on assistance from someone else looking over your shoulder, making suggestions or corrections. In my opinion, the idea that EVERYone should have a para is kinda what's wrong with some of our country. People need to step up and be responsible for themselves. And if they don't learn that as children, then they don't know it or practice it as adults.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

How's this for an alternative suggestion: if we had enough money to hire so many people on, why not just do some simple evaluative testing to figure out each child's learning styles, so that they could be placed in classes (and with teachers) which would better suit their needs? Then, you'd be already addressing a big reason *why* some kids need more help....

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

If you would do that you would just get rid of the teachers because they would be obsolete. However I DO believe that kids in the GATE program should have something akin to a Para to help them to fullfill their IEP just as the para helps fullfill LD kids with their IEP.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

If you could ask any question in the world, even if it's unfathomable & unrealistic, why would you still ask it, I ask you?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

more entitlements, when does it end?

This is a very odd question, can you explain more

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

Should every single student have a one-on-one dedicated paraprofessional of their own?

No, that's completely ridiculous and unnecessary. I say this as a mother to a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder who shares a para with one other child, and I also have a daughter with ADHD and one neurotypical child.

Some children need a dedicated para because they have physical disabilities that require them to have one. Some children have both physical and mental disabilities and require a dedicate para. Some, like my daughter, have the neurological disabilities and require a para to be in the room and attentive to her, but not dedicated just to her. In fact, if she had one dedicated only to her it would be detrimental to her education. She would let the para do more of her work than she should, and she's smarty pants enough to know how to get her para to do things for her because her para adores her. ;-)

My daughter's IEP requires that she's in a classroom with a teacher that has a minimum of experience with special needs students, but she often gets teachers that used to be SpEd teachers who specialized in ASD. It also requires that she be in a classroom that has its own para. Her IEP was adjusted this year because school funding was adjusted so that there are two paras in her classroom since there tend to be 3 or 4 kids in her class (which is mainstream) who are also special needs and require a para. None of the children requires a dedicated para.

The kids that require a dedicated para tend to spend their day in the actual Special Education classrooms. That will likely be the case until middle school and high school depending on the severity and type of disability and what's in their personalized IEP.

So after all that, what it comes down to is IEP's aka Individualized Education Plans. A child gets one if and when they have education and physical needs that require one, determined through a PPT aka Planning and Placement Team Meeting comprised of parents, teachers, therapists, social workers, school psychologists, the principal, student advocates, lawyers, etc. Needs determining whether a child requires a para depend on the evaluation a school does as well as the independent evaluation the parents have done in getting an official diagnosis.

It's not a matter of "should" every child have his or her own para. It's a matter of whether or not specific children NEED their own para. The school obtains the funds through submitting the paperwork to the State and Fed so that every child that NEEDS whatever supports in place in order to get an appropriate education to the best of that child's abilities is paid for and not on the parent's dime.

But people need to understand what a paraprofessional is. They are not a tutor. They are support staff to the school occupational therapists and speech therapists and other therapists that the student needs. They are also support staff for the teacher. They are physical support for the student as needed, and help guide the student in educational efforts without doing the work for them and adhering to whatever is in the student's IEP.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I think having smaller classes and 2 leaders per class would probably be enough. Otherwise things would be very crowded.

My son was in a pre-k class with 2 teachers, and had an aide through 2nd grade. The class could not function without an extra person to be able to separate him from the rest of the class as needed. He didn't need the aide for academic reasons- his behavior was too loud, disruptive, unfocused, etc. The aide was needed to keep him focused on the task. Now that he takes ADHD meds, he no longer needs that much extra support.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

What? Why? Sure, everyone should have it and the parents that want it can pay for it!

My 13 year old is special needs and even he doesn't get or need one on one.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Bloomington on

Every child does not need a para. Some do, and should have them.

If there were enough people/resources, then the classroom sizes should be at a teachable size based on age.

As a previous teacher, I think class size is more important than ANYTHING else. I could teach a smaller group without technology better than I could teach a larger group with the best technology.

Do you really want 35 kids in a class with one teacher and 35 paraprofessionals??? I don't. How about 20 kids, 1 teacher, and the possibility of the 1 para for the kid who NEEDS them?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

You mean for every single student in a school, special ed and Gen ed, should there be an adult accompanying each one all day to assist and support their every need? 1 adult per student? Everyone with their own special helper? Hahahahahahahaha No.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

No. That is a little ridiculous, IMO.

If we are playing the 'what if' game, I think it would be better if we could afford more personalized testing and rearrange classes by skill level...now wouldn't that be cool!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

Why? I don't understand your question. Paraprofessionals are for students with disabilities that are bad enough that they cannot be successful in school without one-on-one help.

You aren't making any sense...


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

No. Students would take advantage, and would not develope the necessary skills of self-control, self-reliance, and self-discipline if they all had an adult with them everyday, one-on-one, in every class.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbia on


Because children need to be taught to navagate in this world without someone holding their hand. That's the job of parents, to raise ADULTS, not keep them helpless children.

Ever heard of "learned helplessness?" This is why I am a free-range parent. Kids NEED to have time away from adults, and time where they have to be accountable for their own behavior.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

How many of these comments did you quote in your paper?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

Did you mean every school, or every classroom? Yes, certainly. Not every student! Most students don't require an educational assistant. That is sort of like saying "if I give that student CPR because they have stopped breathing, then to be fair I need to give every student in the class CPR, whether they need it or not".

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

every student? Gee, that's "why" many families homeschool!

As for the rest of my opinion...to me that would be stifling. I prefer leading the child to the material, making sure there's an understanding of the processes,.....& then backing away to allow the child to actually learn!

Independent comprehension...with additional facilitation if necessary.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I do believe that particular students do need them. They are unable to stay on task and when they are not able to do this they interrupt the class flow over and over and over. If they have an aid that person sits by them and can redirect them often through out the day. They can also take a person to the bathroom who is not able to do that for themselves. They can help them through the line to get lunch, they help them take notes and in that process help them to learn to be a better student.

A paraprofessional in a classroom can have many many many job tasks but it all comes down to the fact they have a student or a few students assigned to them that they have behavior plans or IEP's for that a team of professionals have agreed needs to take place in a certain way. They do more to keep the peace and help a teacher be able to do their job which is teaching not redirecting a student over and over.

So, does each and every student need one? No, they would be sitting there twiddling their thumbs while the students who are able to comprehend and process the information did their work and were able to function on their own.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I think not, what would the para be doing, teaching the kid to depend on them. I just don't see in what way it would be beneficial.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions