New National Award Created for Support Professionals
April 10, 2019
April 10, 2019
Members of the United States Senate have officially recognized what educators have always known: Education support professionals are absolutely indispensable to quality public education.
In March, Senators approved the Recognizing Achievement in Classified School Employees Act, legislation that provides long-overdue recognition for the outstanding contributions made by ESPs and classified school employees. The new law directs the U.S. Secretary of Education to establish a national award program for such educators, something the National Education Association already does through its prestigious ESP of the Year award.
“Education support professionals are an integral part of the nation’s public education system and the more than 50 million students it serves,” says NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. “They often are the first in the building and the last to leave. They promote student achievement, ensure student safety, and contribute to the establishment and promotion of a positive instructional environment every day.”
“We get up every morning before the sun rises and do our jobs. And do them well, I might add. We care for our kids. We nurture them. We love them. We educate them. We challenge and guide them. Whether others believe it or not, we create and touch the future in our own way. No one can ever take that away from us, no matter how hard they try.
Most of us will never make the headlines and our names will never be marked in the halls of fame.
But if we work together, we can achieve our vision. Years from now, when people take the time to look back on this incredible moment in history, they will know and learn about us. They will know that we stood strong and sacrificed much for a cause greater than our own.”
Sherry Shaw, a special education paraeducator from Alaska
The average pay of Virginia public school teachers in 2019-20 was $57,665. That is $6,468 below the national average of $64,133.Take Action Now