Some para-educators in the Lawrence school district are pushing to unionize.
Para-educators help teachers with several duties but most work with special education students.
The Lawrence Journal-World reports about 150 para-educators have joined the Lawrence Education Association.
More than 50 percent of the Lawrence district’s 385 para-educators and other classified staffers who work directly with students would have to join the LEA before they can petition the board to recognize a para-educators bargaining unit.
Gene Neely, regional field representative with the Kansas National Education Association, said the Lawrence school board would have to recognize the para bargaining unit.
He says low wages, turnover and difficulty finding quality paras is common throughout Kansas, but only the Wichita school board has a collective bargaining
arrangement with paras.