Note: This story was last updated at 7:28 p.m. Feb. 24.
Teaching assistants reacted with concern and indignation last week to a proposal to have a Michigan-based company provide substitute teachers, teaching assistants, and paraprofessionals to Oak Ridge Schools.
Chris Marczak, Oak Ridge Schools assistant superintendent, said the proposal to hire Professional Educational Services LLC, or PESG, would allow current employees to keep their jobs, save money, and help the school system comply with the reporting requirements of the federal Affordable Care Act. Marczak said there would be a negligible impact on TAs.
“The only thing that’s going to change is the name of your employer,” he said during a 2.5-hour meeting with teaching assistants and others on Thursday.
But teaching assistants are concerned about their future employment and benefits, including health insurance and retirement. Some said they hadn’t received adequate notice of the proposed change and aren’t being treated with the respect they deserve after years of working for Oak Ridge Schools. Marczak said school administrators, including the human resources department, took notes during the meeting and will respond to the staff’s concerns. [Read more…]