Who will be around to help our kids in the future if the call to action to protect our contract employees working with our school districts nationally aren’t being given the same protection as district employees for pay protection during this unprecedented national health crisis? This is the question rolling around my head right now after battling to get back home to South Florida after cutting a business trip short on the heels of the COVID-19 escalation.
How will our endeared, dedicated and hard-working Special Education and School Health professionals have assurance they will be treated the same as school district employees as the looming question continues to surface, “to pay or not to pay”?
Educational contractors are a vital arm to our country’s special education and school health departments. Every school year they leave their hometowns to travel to unknown cities to provide required services to kids and families they have never met, to communities they have no roots.
As the owner of a staffing company fielding panicking calls from my beloved field employees the questions of “will I get paid now that school is closed” leaves me feeling unsure as to whether or not our leaders at the federal and state level really get it! So here is MY call to action in hopes that someone out there will take a federal or state stand to mandate that ALL contractors working at schools, directly with students where funds have already been appropriated for these services STEP UP and take care of all of employees, contractors included.
Dear Mr. Trump (President of the United States, Betsy DeVos (United States Secretary of Education), Kay Ivey (AL Governor), Mike Dunleavy (AK Governor), Doug Ducey (AZ Governor), Asa Hutchinson (AR Governor), Gavin Newsom (CA Governor), Jared Polis (CO Governor), Ned Lamont (CT Governor), John Carney (DE Governor), Ron DeSantis (FL Governor), Brian Kemp (GA Governor), David Ige (HI Governor), Brad Little (ID Governor), J.B. Pritzker (IL Governor), Eric Holcomb (IN Governor), Kim Reynolds (IA Governor), Laura Kelly (KS Governor), Andy Beshear (KY Governor), John Bel Edwards (LA Governor), Janet Mills (ME Governor), Larry Hogan (MD Governor), Charlie Baker (MA Governor), Gretchen Whitmer (MI Governor), Tim Walz (MN Governor), Tate Reeves (MS Governor), Mike Parson (MO Governor), Steve Bullock (MT Governor), Pete Ricketts (NE Governor), Steve Sisolak (NV Governor), Chris Sununu (NH Governor), Phil Murphy (NJ Governor), Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM Governor), Andrew Cuomo (NY Governor), Roy Cooper (NC Governor), Doug Burgum (ND Governor), Mike DeWine (OH Governor), Kevin Stitt (OK Governor), Kate Brown (OR Governor), Tom Wolf (PA Governor), Gina Raimondo (RI Governor), Henry McMaster (SC Governor), Kristi Noem (SD Governor), Bill Lee (TN Governor), Greg Abbott (TX Governor), Gary Herbert (UT Governor), Phil Scott (VT Governor), Ralph Northam (VA Governor), Jay Inslee (WA Governor), Jim Justice (WV Governor), Tony Evers (WI Governor) and Mark Gordon (WY Governor),
Please give the proper, morally ethical and humanitarian authority for all of our school district’s across these great UNITED States the guidance and authority to make sure that our “contractors” working at schools are given the same assurance of financial support as your district employees. All of your districts have already appropriated these funds for the 19/20 school year and to hold back on issuing continued pay for a workforce that is not choosing to stay home doesn’t speak well of the support our federal and state leaders are committed to throughout our educational system nationally.
This group of dedicated Special Education Teachers, Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Speech Language Therapists, Sign Language Interpreters, Orientation and Mobility Specialists, Social Workers and School Psychologists to name a few are working on the frontline every day with OUR KIDS. They come to your communities every school year, leave their family and friends at home to support YOUR district and YOUR communities’ children. In effort to ensure that the future of this great county will be rooted with people that one day may have to make the hard decisions that you all are being faced with right now, the only RIGHT decision is to support them.
Unity across the board to help ensure that “contractors” supporting our educational system are not abandoned during this national health crisis ensures that families will have food on the table, a roof over their head and a supply of educational “contract” providers who will feel encouraged to return to the profession they love in supporting OUR country’s children when we all return to our every day lives again.