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Paraprofessionals and School and College Staff

Last updated 02.12.2024

New Haven union members bringing free books and activities to area children and families.

The Biden Presidency:

Investing in PSRP jobs. Respecting the work we do. Fighting for safer, healthier school buildings. Making our jobs safer. Connecting schools and communities.

Investing in PSRPs as a Crucial Part of the School Team

  • Created PSRP Jobs: Won over $120 billion for the largest-ever investment in public schools in our history through the American Rescue Plan. The American Rescue Plan added school staff, including counselors, social workers and tutors.
  • Called for Paying and Respecting School Staff: Used the State of the Union address to draw attention to the staffing challenges facing our schools, teachers, paraprofessionals and school staff and to highlight the need to treat us with the respect and dignity we deserve and the competitive pay we have earned.
  • Recruited More School Staff: Worked with the AFT and other education unions on strategies like new recruiting platforms and apprenticeship programs, to make it easier for school districts to find and hire PSRPs and to help more Americans work in education.
  • Made Historic Investments in Community Schools: Expanded funding from $25 million in 2020 to $150 million in 2023 for full-service community schools that wrap academics, healthcare, mental health services, food assistance and much more around public schools—supports that PSRPs provide and students and families need.
  • Supported Funding for Early Childhood Education: Encouraged equitable and affordable access to child care and pushed for universal preschool education for all 3- and 4-year-olds, including a $600 billion mandatory investment in child care, preschool, and wage increases for Head Start teachers and staff.

Promoting Student Well-Being

  • Increased Access to School Meals: Minimized stigma for students receiving assistance and streamlined meal service operations to ensure PSRPs like food service school staff had more opportunities to become full-time employees and receive employment benefits.
  • Signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act: Invested in community-based violence intervention programs and in community schools to meet the growing mental health and safety needs of students.
  • Increased Mental Health Awareness: Distributed unprecedented amounts of new funding focused on our students’ mental health and learning needs, including hiring more reading coaches, parent liaisons, graduation coaches, counselors and psychologists.

Making Our School Buildings and Buses Safer and Healthier

  • Provided Over $120 Billion in COVID-19 Relief: Helped schools reopen safely, including providing funding to improve outdated school ventilation systems.
  • Promoted Energy-Efficient Schools: Made it easier for schools to access federal tax credits, which created billions of dollars for public schools and colleges to make clean-energy improvements.   
  • Provided Billions for Clean Buses: Provided $5 billion to transform the nation’s fleet of school buses to cost-saving, fuel-efficient buses instead of diesel, leading to less air pollution for our communities, cleaner air for all and cost savings for school districts to fully fund transportation services; allowing districts to prioritize training school bus drivers and maintenance workers; and preventing contracting out.
  • Funded Efforts to Get the Lead out of Our Children’s Drinking Water: Dedicated $15 billion to removing lead from our nation’s water systems, including $58 million in grant funding to remove lead from drinking water at schools and child care facilities by replacing plumbing, lead pipes, faucets, water fountains.

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