Major Butler County school districts in critical need of paraprofessionals

BUTLER COUNTY, Pa. — Two major school districts in Butler County desperately need dozens of paraprofessionals, even just weeks into the school year.

11 News spoke with school leaders about why it’s so difficult to hire them right now.

We’ve told you before about schools experiencing a teacher shortage, and now there’s another staffing issue in Butler County.

“We are very short in support staff and paraprofessionals play a critical role in our schools,” said Butler Area School District Superintendent Brian White.

Butler Area School District is in critical need of teacher’s assistants and aides. They oftentimes work one-on-one or in small groups with students who receive special education and related services.

“What makes this a unique role is it’s not just a job, it’s a vocation, there are some people that have a calling to help others and those are the best people that serve in these occupancies,” White said.

At Seneca Valley School District, they need another 30 paraprofessionals, including some that can help kids in the cafeteria, in cyber labs and assist the school nurses.

We asked school leaders today about the reasons behind the shortage. White said that like many industries, it’s a competitive environment right now as many districts face similar staffing issues.

“So because of that we have asked part-timers to do extra hours sometimes, we have taken people from other roles to place those roles of paraprofessionals,” White explained.

Seneca Valley and Butler Area schools have posted the job positions. Butler school leaders are also attending job fairs, reaching out to colleges and calling alumni to try to help fill these positions as the school year continues.

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