The truth is that there are far more regular education students who are in need of academic assistance than there are conventionally recognized special education students. I realized this in comparing regular education with special education classrooms that I’ve worked in. SpEd roles needn’t be increased to rectify the matter, however…
While hiring regular education assistants for each individual instructor would be costly, hiring regular education assistants who’d alternate amongst all classrooms of a particular grade would be more cost effective and help to assure that all students who are in need of assistance are able to get it.
Shared regular education assistants should work with their assigned grade for the whole of each school day, with the exception of breaks. They would assist each instructor and student as needed, meaning that if one particular instructor or set of students does not need assistance at a given time the assistant would help another instructor and/or students and return to the prior instructor/students afterwards or as needed, i.e. when students are completing assignments.
An Assistant for Each Instructor at High Priority Schools or in High Priority Classrooms
High priority schools and/or select high priority regular education classrooms should be privileged to their own succinct assistants, whether permanently or for determined periods of time.
Assignment of Dually Qualifying School Bus Drivers to Classrooms as a Cost Savings Measure
As I have previously suggested, school bus drivers who would dually qualify as paraprofessionals could fill perhaps a significant number of the positions here prescribed [while some could fill other positions around designated schools that they’d qualify for, i.e. provision of extra school security, monitoring duties, maintenance, janitorial services, office work (filing, typing/data entry…), kitchen work, laundry duties, etc., up until a reasonable time before student dismissal].
All bus drivers who’d dually serve as paraprofessionals should be awarded differential or merit pay for doing so, and for partaking in any professional development leading to it.
Assignment of regular education assistants to high priority classrooms would help to assure that non-SpEd students who are in need of academic assistance with classroom assignments acquire it.
This would help to improve standardized and other test scores, increase likelihood of students matriculating into and successfully completing college and leading rewarding lives, and contributing to creation of a wholesome society.