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Support and Standards for Teacher Aides

Feb 26, 2015

WASHINGTON -- Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05) urged passage of his amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which would maintain certification requirements for educational staff, also called paraprofessionals.

Below is a video and transcript of the speech. 

Mr. Speaker,

We must keep a critical part of ESEA: standards for professionals. 

Republicans and Democrats agree. Classroom professionals, or paraprofessionals as they are called, must be prepared and equipped to carry out their work in the classroom.

Today, paraprofessionals are qualified to provide much-needed instructional support, especially for students with special needs.

Every school district in our country is in compliance with these standards and has been since 2006.

In fact, 11 states – including my own state of Illinois – have already codified these requirements in their own state law.

Removing these federal requirements would risk defaulting to low or non-existent standards for these professionals at the state and local levels.

We cannot let this happen.

Classrooms are already severely overcrowded and paraprofessionals provide teachers with critical support they need to best educate our children. 

I am a strong supporter of teachers, and part of that support comes in ensuring that their aides and other classroom counterparts are qualified to do their jobs.

By eliminating these standards, we are turning our backs on the teachers who educate our children.

Let’s support our teachers and support paraprofessionals.

I urge a yes vote on my amendment and reserve the balance of my time