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.