National Classified Employee of the Year Bill Passes U.S. Senate

UPDATE 3/28/19: Today, the U.S. Senate voted to pass the Recognizing Achievement in Classified School Employees Act (H.R. 276). Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) has been the prime Senate sponsor of this legislation, which is an important step forward in nationally recognizing the vital role of Education Support Professionals (classified school employees) in the operation of early learning and K-12.

“Senator Patty Murray has been a champion of Education Support Professionals for years,” said PSE President Charlotte Shindler. “On behalf of over 30,000 members, I would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the Senator for her tireless support and dedication to public education and classified school employees.”

The bill now goes to the President’s desk for signature.

“We would also like to thank Congresswoman Dina Titus as the prime House sponsor, and Senator Lamar Alexander as Chair of the Senate Help Committee,” said Shindler. “Without your support, this would not have been possible.”


Original post: On February 25th, the House of Representatives approved the Recognizing Achievement in Classified School Employees Act (H.R. 276) with the tremendous bipartisan support of 387-19 House Members. 

Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-1) was the prime sponsor of the bill. According to a press release from her office, “The legislation highlights the vital contributions of school employees such as bus drivers, cafeteria workers, security guards, and counselors by establishing the Recognizing Inspiring School Employees (RISE) Award.”

Under the legislation, the Secretary of Education would annually honor the contributions made by a PreK-12 school employee from one of the following classified staff categories: paraprofessionals, clerical services, custodial and maintenance services, transportation services, food services, skilled trades, health and student services, security services, and technical services.

PSE's 2018 delegation to Washington, D.C., from L-R: Rick Chisa, Pres. Charlotte Shindler, 2018 RISE Recipient Kim Karnofski, Executive Director George Dockins, Zone 2 Director Susan Olson, Leg. Council Member Tiffany Picotte.

PSE’s 2018 delegation to Washington, D.C., from L-R: Assistant Exec. Director Rick Chisa, President Charlotte Shindler, 2018 RISE Recipient Kim Karnofski, Executive Director George Dockins, Zone 2 Director Susan Olson, Leg. Council Member Tiffany Picotte.

Every year, a delegation of PSE members travels to Washington, D.C. to advocate on issues affecting education. Establishing national recognition for Classified School Employees has been a top priority.

“I introduced this bipartisan legislation to celebrate the critical role school support staff plays in helping students learn and enabling teachers to teach,” said Congresswoman Dina Titus. “Classified school employees work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the success of our students and schools. Yet, too often their contributions go unrecognized. This award will honor the dedicated employees who devote time and effort to help students become the best versions of themselves.”

The bill now goes to the Senate, where our own Senator Patty Murray has been the prime sponsor of this legislation.

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