Educational Support Professionals
MEA – Educational Support Professionals
The 2014 NEA Education Support Professionals (ESP) Conference will be held March 7-9, 2014, at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis Hotel in San Francisco, CA.
The ESP Statewide Conference will be held on March 14-15, 2014, in Troy Michigan, at the Somerset Inn.
For children, summer should be all about spending more time with family and friends, with as little stress as possible.
But for many families, summer means more stress — especially when it comes to finances. That’s because kids who normally get a lunch or breakfast at school lose access to those meals when class lets out for summer break.
About 62 percent of low-income families spend more on food during the summer months, with an average increase of $300 more per month, according to a national survey by Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign.
Algonac Community Schools privatizes bus drivers’ jobs
Despite widespread opposition from local residents, the Algonac Community Schools Board of Education voted Thursday to privatize its transportation services, eliminating the jobs of about a dozen local bus drivers.
Every citizen who spoke at Thursday’s meeting testified against the privatization proposal, which passed by a 6-1 margin.
“This is bigger than just bus drivers,” school board member Beth Engel, the only board member to vote against the proposal, said during the meeting, according to the Times Herald. “We have this community that has come out in support of something and I applaud them for it. ... We need to listen to the community.”
But the school board didn’t listen to the community. Instead, the school board outsourced local jobs to Lansing-based Dean Transportation, a for-profit company that has swooped into communities throughout Michigan to take jobs away from school bus drivers.
“You are elected by the community,” citizen Robert Bates said to the school board, the Times Herald reported. “A vote to follow through with this privatization is a detriment to the community. ... I hope that each of you can live with the decision you make.”
Attendees at the 2013 MEA ESP Statewide Conference honored three of their own for contributions to the cause of ESP members in Michigan.
Connie Boylan, a 23-year veteran library media paraprofessional and current president of the MEA ESP Caucus, was honored with the 2013 Leon Brunner Award. Given in honor of a late, longtime ESP activist from the Upper Peninsula, Boylan's colleagues bestowed this award in recognition of her commitment to ESP involvement and advocacy, as well as her tireless work for public education.
"From the local level to the MEA and NEA Board of Directors, I'm proud to advocate for ESP, especially in fighting back the threat of privatization on our members," Boylan said. "We're stronger together in fighting back against outsourcing, standing up for school funding, or being successful as a union, even in spite of anti-union efforts like the so-called 'right-to-work.' I've believed that my whole career, and I'm not done advocating for what we believe in."
Action alert: Airport and Walled Lake districts threatening privatization of transportation employees
Two Southeast Michigan school boards will meet next week to consider privatizing or punishing education support professionals who work in transportation services, and MEA members are urged to attend the meetings in support of their colleagues.
Airport Community Schools in Monroe County is about toissue a request for proposals to sell off its fleet of school busses and fully outsource its transportation services to a company that would put profits before service.
The Airport School Board will meet Monday, April 29 at 7 p.m. at Wagar Middle School Media Center, 11200 Grafton Road in Carleton.
Working in a rural Colorado school district for 22 years, Judy Near was constantly frustrated by her non-union work environment. Employee concerns weren't addressed. Near's colleagues felt voiceless.