- EnactedApril 12th, 2019The President signed this bill into law
- The senate has not voted
Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
- senate Committees
- The house Passed February 25th, 2019Roll Call Vote 387 Yea / 19 Nay
Committee on Education and LaborIntroducedJanuary 8th, 2019
- house Committees
What is House Bill H.R. 276?
Cost of House Bill H.R. 276
In-Depth: Rep. 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 Note: Classified 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.”
- Sponsoring Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) Press Release (114th Congress)
- National Education Association (NEA) (In Support)
Summary by Lorelei Yang
(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / kali9)