Paraeducators provide critical and direct support to teachers and students, which makes them an integral part of the school ecosystem. That is why I am happy to share that the Paraeducator Healthcare Subsidy Program will provide $5 million in financial assistance and increase access to quality health care.
This program was created during the 2023 Legislative Session and signed into law as part of the bipartisan biennium budget. It will help paraeducators enrolled in high-deductible health plans with a health savings account and employed by a local or regional school district with a one-time stipend to reduce out-of-pocket costs. Payments are expected to go out in September to more than 4,000 paraeducators.
Legislative leadership made appropriating these funds a priority in budget negotiations to help bridge the painful gap between high-deductible health plans and low wages for paraeducators, who are critical to our classrooms. We must continue efforts that ensure that paraeducators receive proper compensation and benefits.