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house Bill H.R. 276

Should There be a Classified School Employee of the Year Award?

Argument in favor

Classified school employees do important work in America’s schools. They deserve to be recognized via a national award like the Teacher of the Year Award, which this bill establishes.

Eric's Opinion
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02/26/2019
Sure why not. But you know what’s better than an empty award? A higher salary. Pay them more
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Lisbeth 's Opinion
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02/26/2019
Accolades are great but a living wage is better. I’d rather see people teaching our children make the kind of living that would attract the best and the brightest-they are teaching America’s children after all. If our kids aren’t worth it what is??
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NoHedges's Opinion
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02/26/2019
Yes, with a prize of $10,000 and a 4% pay increase.
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Argument opposed

Many school districts and states already recognize exemplary classified school employees via their own annual awards. While it’d be nice, an additional federal award isn’t necessary.

IllWill's Opinion
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02/25/2019
This is just a pointless feel-good piece of legislation. If we actually want to recognize all the work that our school employees do, we should increase their salaries!
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Mark's Opinion
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02/25/2019
Want to really help teachers? Give them some disciplinary authority over the student population like they used to have. Without fear of being sued by some activist parent. Recognizing teachers for exemplary performance on a national level is a kind gesture but rings hollow. Make the classroom a learning environment once again, instead of an exercise in crowd control.
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jdominator10's Opinion
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02/26/2019
Just a waste of time. The House should focus on real issues. Get teachers the ability to not worry about being sued by an activist parent, whom just wants to be the star of the show. Recognition is important, but with paper it’s pointless - treat people with respect, dignity, and kindness.
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bill Progress


  • EnactedApril 12th, 2019
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
  • The house Passed February 25th, 2019
    Roll Call Vote 387 Yea / 19 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Education and Labor
    IntroducedJanuary 8th, 2019

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What is House Bill H.R. 276?

This bill — the Recognizing Achievement in Classified School Employees Act — would propose the nomination of one classified school employee of the year for the Secretary of Education’s approval. This person would be chosen from pre-kindergarten through higher education employees in 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.

Impact

Classified school employees; the Secretary of Education.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 276

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Dina Titus (D-NV) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to establish a National Classified School Employees of the Year Award Program to acknowledge classified school employees’ work. When she introduced this bill in the 114th Congress in March 2015, Rep. Titus said:

“Classified school employees are the bus drivers, secretaries, school nurses, custodians, and other support staff who keep schools running to help students learn and enable teachers to teach. Whether they are in the classroom alongside teachers, helping to establish and promote a high-quality instructional educational environment, or in a bus making sure that students arrive at school safely and on time so they are ready to learn, these classified employees play a vital role in our schools; and they should be recognized for the outstanding work that they do. Classified school employees work tirelessly to ensure the success of our students and public schools. Yet too often their contributions go unrecognized. That is why I am proud to introduce a bill that would officially recognize their contribution to helping students meet the highest educational standards.”

The National Education Association (NEA) supports this bill, writing:

“Education Support Professionals (ESPs)/Classified school employees strive for excellence in all areas relative to the education community. NEA supports passage of the Recognizing Achievement in Classified School Employees Act award legislation that would provide long overdue recognition for their outstanding contributions to our nation's schools and the students they serve. The legislation directs the Secretary of Education to establish the Recognizing Inspiring School Employees (RISE) Award Program recognizing excellence exhibited by public school system employees providing services to students in prekindergarten through grade 12. ESPs-including paraeducators, clerical assistants, school bus drivers, custodians, food service workers, technicians, custodians, school nurses, and security professionals - provide essential services to America's public schools and institutions of higher education. As an integral part of the public education system, ESPs promote student achievement, ensure student safety, and contribute to the establishment and promotion of a positive instructional environment.”

This bill has 53 bipartisan House cosponsors, including 40 Democrats and 13 Republicans, in the current session of Congress. A Senate version, introduced in the current Congress by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), has three Democratic Senate cosponsors.

Last Congress, the House version of this bill had 68 bipartisan cosponsors, including 53 Democrats and 15 Republicans and didn’t receive a vote in the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. The Senate version, which had eight Democratic cosponsors, also didn’t receive a vote in its Senate committee. Prior to the 115th Congress, Rep. Titus had introduced this bill in the House in both the 113th and 114th Congresses, and Sen. Murray had introduced it in the Senate in the 114th Congress. None of those bills received committee votes.


Of NoteClassified school employees are currently celebrated in May, when Classified School Employee Week afford schools the opportunity to recognize their work. In some places, such as Orange County, California, local schools are using this time to recognize their noteworthy classified school employees with awards. In addition to this, some other states — such as Washington State — already include classified employees in their own state and regional employee of the year awards.

This bill is modeled off the National Teacher of the Year Program. Established in 1952, that program is the oldest, most prestigious national honors program focusing public attention on excellence in teaching. Stacy Zeiger, an eighth grade English teacher on Ohio, notes that recognition as National Teacher of the Year is an important award for educators:

“Becoming Teacher of the Year is something many teachers dream of. The award can provide validation for years of hard work and sacrifice for the teaching profession. In some states and districts, it also comes with some pretty nice perks.”


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / kali9)

AKA

Recognizing Achievement in Classified School Employees Act

Official Title

To direct the Secretary of Education to establish the Recognizing Inspiring School Employees (RISE) Award Program recognizing excellence exhibited by classified school employees providing services to students in prekindergarten through high school.

    Sure why not. But you know what’s better than an empty award? A higher salary. Pay them more
    Like (83)
    Follow
    Share
    This is just a pointless feel-good piece of legislation. If we actually want to recognize all the work that our school employees do, we should increase their salaries!
    Like (69)
    Follow
    Share
    Want to really help teachers? Give them some disciplinary authority over the student population like they used to have. Without fear of being sued by some activist parent. Recognizing teachers for exemplary performance on a national level is a kind gesture but rings hollow. Make the classroom a learning environment once again, instead of an exercise in crowd control.
    Like (33)
    Follow
    Share
    Accolades are great but a living wage is better. I’d rather see people teaching our children make the kind of living that would attract the best and the brightest-they are teaching America’s children after all. If our kids aren’t worth it what is??
    Like (29)
    Follow
    Share
    Just a waste of time. The House should focus on real issues. Get teachers the ability to not worry about being sued by an activist parent, whom just wants to be the star of the show. Recognition is important, but with paper it’s pointless - treat people with respect, dignity, and kindness.
    Like (27)
    Follow
    Share
    Awards are great but don’t pay the bills. You can’t eat a piece of paper. Pay them a decent wage with decent benefits. Cash incentives for performing above and beyond area better incentive.
    Like (17)
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    Yes, with a prize of $10,000 and a 4% pay increase.
    Like (15)
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    It'll just be politicized! How do you (fairly) pick ine?
    Like (8)
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    This is “fluff” legislation and not worthy of consideration, until the real problems in this country are dealt with.
    Like (6)
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    Just another dumbass idea. When will it stop?
    Like (6)
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    Never hurts to thank these people for the job they do and get paid lower than corporate America - they deserve all the thanks they get and more!
    Like (5)
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    Abolish the department of education.
    Like (5)
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    There are thousands of outstanding and unappreciated school employees in the nation. How can we recognize just one? The seems like a meaningless award that is a waste of money.
    Like (4)
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    Awards are stupid. I do not want to promote people who are seeking glory. How about we fix the school system instead of wasting time with this sideshow recognition crap that is nothing more than a distraction and waste of money.
    Like (4)
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    Show them the money. How can we expect to have a well educated children/workforce and move the state forward cutting corners from kindergarten to Doctoral programs, instructors To facilities, giving public education funds to religious fanatics. Senseless. It’s no wonder the State has a Talent, Youth, Capitital and overall population exodus going on. It’s a far Cry from the place I grew up in, in the 50’s and 60’s. When did they move us into a 3rd world country? Was it when Nixon kept Vietnam going, because he couldn’t have Johnson ending it on his watch, or when Reagan got rid of the Fairness Act and set loose the weaponisation of political speech here in the US? Maybe when he sold the country on his idea to steal money from social security and. Give it out, mostly to the rich, so they could trickle it all over the working class, whenever they felt like it, except they never did. Face it, our entire national debt is the result of trickle down theories that never paid back their loans. Stop it, and the people selling those lies.
    Like (3)
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    Waste of time and money. Congress needs to focus on more important things than trying to build their ego and fame.
    Like (3)
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    Not the government's business
    Like (3)
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    Thank you Mark. Well said. Taught school for 45 years. This got worse & worse Want to really help teachers? Give them some disciplinary authority over the student population like they used to have. Without fear of being sued by some activist parent. Recognizing teachers for exemplary performance on a national level is a kind gesture but rings hollow. Make the classroom a learning environment once again, instead of an exercise in crowd control.
    Like (3)
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    Yesterday, I met with a teacher who taught for 34 years. She said that she always DECLINED the “teacher of the year” awards. It wasn’t something that she wanted. She said that some of the worst teachers would go after the award, and they would do whatever was necessary to earn the award. Teachers already get recognition. We don’t need to add another award.
    Like (2)
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    What a waste of time. Let us acknowledge our best of the best locally. Don’t take time away from our schools for them to apply for such a recognition
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