California Educator

April / May 2019

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Essential ESPs A C C O R D I N G T O NEA, 3 million ESPs work in U.S. public schools and colleges. One of every three public school employees is an ESP; 50 percent of them have college degrees. A snapshot of what they do: Dan Kivett, far left, and CTA's Kathy Rallings, second from right, with the ESP Leadership Academy class of 2019. For more information on the academy, see his responsibilities very seriously. "I was elected by teachers. ey recognize that I'm willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done," he says. "I get to work on federal stuff. I've got one more challenge: to get rid of WEP GPO," he adds, referring to the Windfall Elimination Provision and the Government Pension Offset, two Social Security provisions that unfairly penalize public employees' benefits. Also in conjunction with NEA, Kivett helped push the Recog- nizing Inspiring School Employees (RISE) Award Program bill in Congress (H.R. 276), which was passed in late March and when signed will establish national recognition of ESPs. Kivett thinks all this is long overdue. "ESPs have to train and attend school to maintain a high skill and knowledge level, just like those in other professions," he told NE A Today in a recent article, noting that many ESPs are also student mentors, athletic coaches, community volunteers and organizers. "They are the gears that keep school operations moving. All this is done without much recognition." Despite his busy schedule, most days you can find Kivett at the schools in Redlands Unified, a district that encompasses five cities, where he's been a public safety officer for the past 19 years. "Teachers ask me to do presentations on campus safety or drug stuff," he says. He also works with students, intervening in and redirecting unwanted behaviors. He's often with truants, talking to them on campus or at their homes. "Sometimes the parent or guardian is the issue," he says. "e family may not have food, so we direct them to services." Kivett recently celebrated his 35th wedding anniversary and has children working as ESPs in the district, as well as grandchil- dren who attend its schools. Here's hoping he'll be keeping schools and kids safe for years to come. 65 percent donate their own money to help students purchase classroom materials, field trip tickets, etc. (average donation: $217 per year). 35 percent volunteer to read to students. % % 65 35 75 percent work to ensure student and school safety. 70 percent assist children with cloth- ing, food and other necessities. 75 % % 70 60 CTA & You

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