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Re: Contracted Employee/Aide
If the district sees the position can be filled and staffed by a para and then the duties are fulfilled adequately, why would they move that position to full time? Districts are in the interest of maximizing their teacher budgets, which are the largest single expenditure they have.
Shoot for the full time staff. Only accept a para position if they won't give you full time staff - or take a part time or split position between campuses.
Yes, a full-time teacher position is what SHOULD be done.
However, adding a para position now could be a stepping stone to a full-time position later.
The para contract could be structured so that their official working hours are, eg, 10AM-6PM so they come in late and then stay after school. Or flexible hours, as long as they make their 40 every week. This could allow hiring a grad student who could schedule classes around work.
I've seen a district hire a percussionist as an hourly para, but with the understanding that they'll be clocking significant overtime. One percussion instructor I know made more than the head director during marching season (it balanced out later, but still).
There are ways to do this that are fair. If the option is a para position or no position, I know what I would choose.