TESTIMONY OF CAPSS RE S.B. No. 913 AN ACT CONCERNING SCHOOL PARAPROFESSIONAL TRAINING
Joseph J. Cirasuolo, Ed.D.
February 26, 2017
The CT Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS) which represents the superintendents of CT’s public school systems and the members of the central office staffs of those systems has the following comments to make regarding S.B. No 913 AN ACT CONCERNING SCHOOL PARAPROFESSIONAL TRAINING.
CAPSS is strongly opposed to any new and unfunded State mandate that would require the training of paraprofessionals. The organization takes this position for the following reasons.
- The leaders of CT’s school districts take seriously their obligation to make sure that all staff members have sufficient training to meet the responsibilities to which staff members are assigned. In an overwhelming majority of cases, this obligation is being met effectively. There is no need, therefore, burden districts with a State mandate in this area.
- Unfunded mandates have always been problematic because they compel time and funds to be allocated in ways that are frequently at best a distraction from and at worse an impediment to actions that should be taken at the local level to improve student learning.
- When additional unfunded mandates are enacted during a time when State financial assistance for local school districts is at best flat from year to year, the injurious effect of unfunded mandates upon student learning are enhanced.
- A task force constituted by the State Government has reached unanimous agreement on actions that should be taken to remove or revise unfunded State mandates that apply mostly to the professional staff of school districts. Adding mandates that apply to the certified staff such as paraprofessionals would simply result in one set of unfunded and unnecessary mandates being replaced by another.