Paraprofessional turnover and retention

This is a study using survey research to find out possible causes of paraprofessional turnover and interventions that might help retain paraprofessionals in special education. The researcher hypothesized that if school districts offered more training opportunities, better wages and benefit options, paraprofessional retention would increase. The researcher also hypothesized, if special and general education teachers develop relationships with paraprofessionals within the classroom, then there will be stronger meaning of trustworthiness and thus higher rates of retention. The researcher distributed a survey to paraprofessionals working in Kindergarten to twelfth grade special education classrooms in two school districts located in Southern California. The researcher used mixed methods to find results to the research question and hypotheses. The researcher found that paraprofessionals employed in both school districts were satisfied with current job and teacher placement. In addition, paraprofessionals considered leaving the profession due to low wages, personal and family reasons, better job offers, lack of support, and feeling unappreciated. Key Words: Paraprofessional, job satisfaction, job turnover, special education