H.R. 2377: To direct the Secretary of Education to establish and administer an awards program recognizing excellence exhibited by public school system employees providing services to students in pre-kindergarten through higher education

H.R. 2377

To direct the Secretary of Education to establish and administer an awards program recognizing excellence exhibited by public school system employees providing services to students in pre-kindergarten through higher education

Date
March 16, 2010 (111th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Sarah Makin

Floor Situation

H.R. 2377 is expected to be considered on the floor of the House on Monday, March 15, 2010, under suspension of the rules.  The legislation was introduced by Rep. Diana Titus (D-NV) on May 12, 2009, and referred to the House Committee on Education.

Bill Summary

H.R. 2377 creates a new awards program, directing the Secretary of Education to award "National Classified School Employees of the Year Awards" each year to "recognize and promote the commitment and excellence exhibited by employees within certain occupational specialties in public schools who provide exemplary service to students in pre-kindergarten through higher education." 

The bill requires that the Secretary choose one grantee from each of the following occupational specialties: (1) paraprofessionals; (2) clerical and administrative services; (3) transportation services; (4) food and nutrition services; (5) custodial and maintenance services; (6) security services; (7) health and student services; (8) technical services; and (9) skilled trades. 

The bill directs the Secretary to solicit nominations from each State's chief school officer.  H.R. 2377 lists local education agencies, school administrators, professional associations, labor unions, and "any other group determined appropriate by the Secretary" to be eligible to submit applications for consideration.

Cost

No CBO score is available for H.R. 2377.  The bill does not specifically authorize any funds for the new award program.

Additional Information

CONCERNS

Based on the language of the bill, an employee of any organization that provides services to students could be considered eligible for these awards.  For instance, if a Planned Parenthood employee provides sex-education or an afterschool program to a school, he/she could be considered eligible to receive a federal recognition award. 

Furthermore, a recognition program like this could be done by a private entity; similar to how the Council of Chief State School Officers recognizes the Teacher of the Year.  Many Members may find it inappropriate and unnecessary for the federal government to create a new program to honor the work of certain individuals, and may be concerned that such a program could lead to additional federal recognition programs in the future. 

Currently, there are no similar programs operating within the Department of Education.  There is one program in ESEA that would allow States to use funds to reward excellent teachers; however, most States do not use funds for this.