Paraprofessional turnover and retention in inclusive programs: Hidden costs and promising practices

Gail Ghere, Jennifer York-Barr

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


In recent years, education policies have focused on raising the standards for paraprofessional qualifications, supervision, and development. Given the increasingly problematic rates of paraprofessional turnover, focusing on the retention of effective paraprofessionals is of equal importance. In an effort to understand the reasons for and costs of turnover and to identify strategies that increase the likelihood of retention, 53 district and school employees from six schools in three school districts were interviewed. The findings indicated that the costs of turnover are felt at every level within a school district: central office, school, team, and student. Also suggested were strategies for increasing retention, including ensuring a threshold wage, focusing on Job matching early in the employment process, providing ongoing support and direction, and developing a team culture in which paraprofessionals feel valued.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-32
Number of pages12
JournalRemedial and Special Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


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