Paraprofessionals are underrated


As a paraprofessional in Toledo Public Schools for 19 years, I ask whether Evergreen Solutions president Linda Recio knows what the job of a special education paraprofessional who works with emotionally disturbed students is (“Latest data: TPS could save $91M over 5 years; altered audit shows $10M less than initially projected,” June 5)?

Paraprofessionals must have at least an associate’s degree or pass a test before they are considered highly qualified. Some paraprofessionals have a bachelor’s degree and are pursuing a master’s degree.

Ms. Recio said the TPS cuts she proposes shouldn’t reduce academic performance. It is clear she has never set foot inside a special-education classroom where a paraprofessional has been working with students. Paraprofessionals are a critical part of a team of educators in a student’s life, academically and emotionally.

I invite Ms. Recio to ask paraprofessionals what we do in the classroom daily and why we chose this profession. It certainly isn’t for the money, because I and many of my colleagues have to work two jobs to make ends meet.

California Boulevard

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Education’s woes not teachers’ fault
It is not bonuses that teachers look for, but respect (“One tired teacher,” Readers’ Forum, May 17). Teachers do not go into the profession for money. Standardized tests were not designed to measure teacher efficacy.

I taught at Scott and Ottawa Hills high schools before I retired in 1998. On open house nights, Ottawa Hills was standing room only. At my first open house at Scott, not one parent showed up. It has gotten better at Scott.

The problem does not lie with teachers. Toledo Public Schools teachers are doing a great job of graduating great kids.

Darlington Road


Grief lasts longer than 2 weeks
As a recent widow, I was shocked to read your June 10 article “Some changes in mental health handbook controversial.”

The article said the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association, states that a person who grieves for more than two weeks could have symptoms of mental illness. What an insensitive, heartless, ignorant statement.

Do members of that association honestly think that parents who have lost a child, a man or woman who has lost a spouse, or anyone else who has lost someone is going to get over the grief in two weeks?

My suggestion to those who are “mentally ill” enough to grieve longer than two weeks is to keep it to themselves. Once you’re diagnosed as mentally ill, it’s hard telling how many rights will be denied to you.

This finding makes everything in the new manual suspect and probably wrong.

Bowling Green