PSEA president encourages Montgomery County schools not to furlough support professionals

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PSEA president encourages Montgomery County schools not to furlough support professionals

For further information contact:
Chris Lilienthal (717) 255-7134
David Broderic (717) 255-7169

HARRISBURG, PA (Nov. 13, 2020) –  After the Montgomery County Board of Health voted today to direct all county schools to provide online learning from Nov. 23 to Dec. 6, PSEA President Rich Askey applauded their commitment to the health and safety of school staff and students, and encouraged school districts to avoid furloughing support professionals so that they can continue to support their families.

“It is important that all school districts follow state guidelines about how to safely provide instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s just as important to preserve the livelihoods of support professionals whose jobs may be impacted by this decision,” Askey said. “We need to think outside of the box to keep dedicated support professionals on the job so we don’t lose their expertise.

“We can’t forget the economic impacts this pandemic has had on Pennsylvanians,” he said. “And we need to take whatever steps we possibly can to ensure that aides, custodians, cafeteria workers, secretaries, maintenance employees, nurses’ aides, bus drivers, and other support staff don’t lose their incomes. They all fulfill a unique role in the education of our students, even in a virtual setting.

“Support professionals are an invaluable part of public education, and they serve and support students every day. They can absolutely continue to provide crucial services and supports even when schools are providing instruction online, particularly in continuing to support our special needs students in Montgomery County.”

Askey is a Harrisburg music teacher and the president of PSEA. An affiliate of the National Education Association, PSEA represents about 180,000 active and retired educators and school employees, student teachers, higher education staff, and health care workers in Pennsylvania.