Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0077
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Full Text of HR0077  102nd General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, Education Support Professionals (ESPs) are the
3backbone of Pre-K through 12 public education and also work in
4higher education institutions; more than half a million
5Education Support Professional members across the country take
6care of our children every day; they ensure all students have
7the tools they need to succeed in our schools, classrooms, and
8higher education institutions; ESPs are comprised of nine
9career families working in clerical services, custodial and
10maintenance services, food services, health and student
11services, security services, skilled trades, technical
12services, and transportation services and as paraeducators;
13ESPs are not treated, respected, nor valued the same as
14teachers; and
15    WHEREAS, ESPs interact daily with students, parents, and
16staff; responsibilities include, but are not limited to,
17processing and maintaining vital, confidential data and
18student records; and
19    WHEREAS, ESPs keep schools open, operational, safe,
20accessible, and clean for students, staff, and the community
21at all times; they are responsible for ensuring proper indoor
22air quality and for complying with ROE state regulations and
23federal OSHA standards for safety operations in the school



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1buildings; and
2    WHEREAS, ESPs ensure that students have access to safe and
3nutritious meals and ensure that school districts are
4complying with the federal free and reduced meal guidelines;
6    WHEREAS, ESPs perform a wide variety of health assistance
7that improves and protects student health and welfare; their
8responsibilities include, but are not limited to, traditional
9tasks of providing first aid, monitoring immunizations,
10conducting health screenings, and assisting sick and injured
11children; ESPs also provide education that encourages students
12to maintain good health independently; and
13    WHEREAS, ESPs perform professional responsibilities that
14contribute directly to student achievement by providing direct
15services to students and their families, including academic,
16social emotional, behavioral, English as a second language,
17special education, and medical and life skills support for
18general education to ensure all students receive fair and
19equitable educational opportunities; and
20    WHEREAS, ESPs have a clear understanding of not only
21security techniques but also the unique nature of the school
22population with whom they work; on a broader level, they are



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1active in designing and implementing security policies and
2crisis response plans; and
3    WHEREAS, ESPs maintain and improve the physical quality of
4school buildings, offices, and facilities; they work behind
5the scenes to repair, maintain, and operate machinery that is
6essential to the smooth functioning of the school; and
7    WHEREAS, ESPs lead the effort to maintain high standards
8of technology and communication in our schools; they install,
9repair, and upgrade computers and networks that enable the
10timely communication of essential information between parents,
11school district employees, and students; and
12    WHEREAS, ESPs transport students to and from school
13safely, and an ESP is the first people to greet each student in
14the morning and last to say goodbye as they return home; ESPs
15operate and maintain all of a school system's vehicles; in
16addition to driving, often in bad weather or heavy traffic,
17they are responsible for first aid and emergency evacuation
18procedures, student conduct and discipline, and the safe
19transportation of students with special needs; all employees
20in a district's transportation department stay up-to-date on
21new safety requirements, regulations, and policies; and
22    WHEREAS, The starting salaries of ESPs begin at $10.00 per



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1hour for the 2020-2021 school year in the state of Illinois
2according to the ISBE Non-certified Salary Study; ESPs also
3often do not qualify for health benefits or use most or all of
4their wages to pay for health benefits; some ESPs earn at or
5near poverty level and qualify for government assistance; many
6ESPs must work more than one job to provide for their families;
7therefore, be it
10Education Support Professionals in public schools should be
11treated with the same respect, recognition, value, and
12standards as teachers and should no longer be second class
13citizens within the ranks of public education; these
14professionals provide invaluable services to school
15communities; and be it further
16    RESOLVED, That we urge the General Assembly to seek
17solutions via study and legislation that include, but are not
18limited to, legislated salary parity, quality professional
19development and training, and mandated access to health
20benefits for all education support professionals.