In Kentucky alone, two ESPs, both bus drivers, have passed away since school buildings closed. In North Carolina, three others have passed away from the virus. “I hate that it took a dedicated member’s life to open others’ eyes,” said Matthew Powell, NEA’s 2019 ESP of the Year. “When you have stories about ESPs still fighting for our students, risking their own lives to meet the needs of every child, that really sticks out.”
Educators know it will take ongoing advocacy to secure personal protective equipment (PPE) and implement other safety measures that meet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) standards for teachers and support professionals, whose duties vary widely. NEA is seeking directed funding for PPE for educators, including—and especially—the support professionals who continue to prepare and distribute meals; clean, maintain, and secure school buildings; oversee technology needs; and perform other vital work during the coronavirus pandemic.
Email your senators and tell them the next COVID-19 bill should include at least $56 million in directed funding for PPE for educators.