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HARRISBURG (Nov. 15, 2017) – Dolores McCracken, president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, issued the following statement today, commending members of the state Senate and state House of Representatives for introducing bills aimed at protecting dedicated school support professionals from having their jobs subcontracted to for-profit companies.
Senate Bill 795, introduced by Sen. John Blake (D - Lackawanna), and House Bill 1914, introduced by Rep. Aaron Kaufer (R-Luzerne), would prohibit school entities from subcontracting services currently provided by school employees unless the school entities:
“Education support professionals – bus drivers, cafeteria workers, maintenance and custodial staff, and secretaries – provide extremely important services to Pennsylvania’s students every day,” McCracken said. “These bills will ensure that public schools conduct a thoughtful, transparent, fact-based analysis of the impact subcontracting deals will have – before they sign an agreement. The bills will also strengthen accountability and protections for local taxpayers.
“I want to thank Rep. Kaufer and Sen. Blake for their leadership on this issue. We all share the same goal because we want to respect the work that dedicated support professionals do, and we want school districts to recognize that subcontracting deals shouldn’t be taken lightly.
“Often, subcontracting deals don’t save school districts money, the quality of the service suffers, and they end up breaking a key connection between the bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and others who live in a school district, know the students, and keep those students safe and healthy. Their contributions are too important to sacrifice.
“I’m looking forward to working with lawmakers to get these important bills passed and to honor the incredible work that support professionals do in our schools every day.”
McCracken is a paraprofessional in the Council Rock School District. An affiliate of the National Education Association, PSEA represents approximately 181,000 future, active and retired teachers and school employees, and health care workers in Pennsylvania.