Para Power

How Paraprofessional Labor Changed Education
Author: Nick Juravich
The impact of paraprofessional educators on the classroom, neighborhood, and picket line
Cloth – $125
Paper – $32
eBook – $19.95
Publication Date
Paperback: 12/10/2024
Cloth: 12/10/2024
Buy the Book Request Desk/Examination Copy Request Review Copy Request Rights or Permissions Request Alternate Format Preview

About the Book

Paraprofessional educators entered US schools amidst the struggles of the late 1960s. Immersed in the crisis of care in public education, paras improved systems of education and social welfare despite low pay and second-rate status.

Understanding paras as key players in Black and Latino struggles for jobs and freedom, Nick Juravich details how the first generation of paras in New York City transformed work in public schools and the relationships between schools and the communities they served. Paraprofessional programs created hundreds of thousands of jobs in working-class Black and Latino neighborhoods. These programs became an important pipeline for the training of Black and Latino teachers in the1970s and early 1980s while paras’ organizing helped drive the expansion and integration of public sector unions.

An engaging portrait of an invisible profession, Para Power examines the lives and practices of the first generation of paraprofessional educators against the backdrop of struggles for justice, equality, and self-determination.

About the Author

Nick Juravich is an assistant professor of history and labor studies and the associate director of the Labor Resource Center at UMass Boston.



Para Power lifts up inspiring voices of education activists who struggled for collective power at the intersection of women's, workers’, and civil rights during a pivotal historical moment. Juravich’s analysis offers indispensable lessons for all who are committed to defending the common good today.”--Jessica Wender-Shubow, former president, Brookline Educators Union