Cutting the hours of school support staff hurts students.
Virtually all of us have seen it: the insidious creep of part-time jobs where full-time jobs used to be. This is not job-sharing, where two employees ask to split a job and both enjoy full benefits. This is called "part-time-ization," where the employer replaces a full-time job with just enough hours to eliminate benefits, and then asks the worker to carry a full-time load.
The result? Support staff who have "disappeared." They cannot be physically present for the students who need them. For stretches of time, they have to work at other jobs, or rove between schools, or play tag team with colleagues.
In a survey of AFT paraprofessionals and school-related personnel earlier this year, AFT PSRP heard about various ways school districts are grappling with budget constraints, frequently through layoffs but just as often by chipping away at the hours of employees who provide core services, such as basic support for students with disabilities.