HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut is spending $5 million to help the state’s paraeducators pay for health care costs.

“By itself, it won’t solve the crisis, but being combined with additional resources, to lift paraeducators out of poverty, it will absolutely make a resounding difference all across the state,” said Shellye Davis, the president of the Hartford Federation of Paraeducators.

Paraeducators who are enrolled in a high-deductible health plan with a health savings account are eligible for a one-time stipend from the funds. Payments are expected to go out this month.

Matt Ritter (D-District 1), the speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives, said the funds will help thousands of paraeducators.

“The same individuals in my daughter’s classroom at Noah Webster in Hartford that she gives a hug to every day, that she treats like a teacher,” he said. “We’re giving them a chance to have a better life by paying for their health care.”

The funds were signed into law as part of the governor’s 2023-24 budget.