Thanks to the advocacy of NEA’s members and board of directors, the Senate joined the House in voting to create a national award for Education Support Professionals. Support was overwhelming in both chambers: the vote was unanimous in the Senate and 387-19 in the House. The measure directs the Secretary of Education to establish the Recognizing Inspiring School
Employees (RISE) Award Program for ESPs in pre-K-to grade 12: paraeducators, clerical assistants, bus drivers, custodians, food service workers, security professionals, nurses, and more. In the words of NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia, “This long overdue bill appropriately respects and rightly acknowledges the hard work, dedication, skills and expertise of our ESPs.”