Full disclosure. I am a proud RTA/MTA member, which the STA affiliates with
A wealthy and rapidly gentrifying city like Somerville, which loudly proclaims to be a bastion of progressive values, can easily afford to pay its paras and ESPs a living wage. Like CNAs in hospitals, these are the low wage/high stress grunts that underpin public schools. They deserve living wages and dignity.
I know I would not have been able to get through kindergarten without Ms. Silva who did a much better job than the lead teacher in forming nurturing relationships with students. Twenty five years later, as a teacher who has had paras in his classroom, I can still attest to their value today. I Stand with the STA in its fight for 25k/yr base pay and better job security.