National Award Will Honor Exceptional School Staff

Congress establishes a national award for school staff, named Recognizing Achievement in Classified School Employees (RISE) Award

School support employees are the unsung heroes of America’s public schools. Hardworking

classified staff, paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel make up one-third of the public school education workforce. They engage with students on the bus and in the classrooms, cafeterias, health rooms and hallways. They keep students safe, supported and challenged so that learning can take place.

Now, thanks to activism from OSEA, AACSE and members nationwide, the Recognizing Achievement in Classified School Employees Act will highlight the important, and often overlooked, educational support provided by classified school employees. The new law will establish national awards through the Recognizing Inspiring School Employees (RISE) program, to acknowledge the excellence exhibited by public school staff. It is the first national award of its kind.

“OSEA’s AACSE Directors and Alternate Directors joined forces with AACSE members from across the country to lobby for national issues that ring true to our members,” said Mary Hofer, AACSE President and OSEA Secretary. “Topping our list of legislative priorities was urging Congress to honor classified school employees by voting in favor of the Recognizing Inspiring School Employees Act.”

Many thanks to the OSEA members who called their representatives to encourage support of this act! We will keep you informed of the nomination process as it is developed and encourage districts, administrators, parents, students and, of course, our members to help us recognize the staff that are essential to our public schools.