Text: S.978 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (04/27/2017)


115th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. 978


To direct the Secretary of Education to establish an award program recognizing excellence exhibited by public school system employees providing services to students in prekindergarten through higher education.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

April 27, 2017

Mrs. Murray introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions


A BILL

To direct the Secretary of Education to establish an award program recognizing excellence exhibited by public school system employees providing services to students in prekindergarten through higher education.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Recognizing Achievement in Classified School Employees Act”.

SEC. 2. Findings.

Congress finds the following:

(1) Classified school employees provide valuable service to public schools in the United States.

(2) Classified school employees provide essential services, such as transportation, facilities maintenance and operations, food service, safety, and health care.

(3) Classified school employees play a vital role in providing for the welfare and safety of students.

(4) Classified school employees strive for excellence in all areas of service to the education community.

(5) Exemplary classified school employees should be recognized for their outstanding contributions to quality education in the United States.

SEC. 3. Definitions.

In this Act:

(1) CLASSIFIED SCHOOL EMPLOYEE.—The term “classified school employee” means a public employee of a State or of any political subdivision of a State, who works in any grade from prekindergarten through higher education in any of the following 9 occupational specialties:

(A) Paraeducator services.

(B) Clerical and administrative services.

(C) Transportation services.

(D) Food and nutrition services.

(E) Custodial and maintenance services.

(F) Security services.

(G) Health and student services.

(H) Technical services.

(I) Skilled trades.

(2) OTHER DEFINITIONS.—The terms used in this Act have the meaning given the terms in section 8101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801).

SEC. 4. Recognition program established.

(a) In general.—The Secretary of Education shall establish a national recognition program to be known as the “Recognizing Inspirational School Employees (RISE) Award Program”. The purpose of the program shall be to recognize and promote the commitment and excellence exhibited by classified school employees in public schools who provide exemplary service to students in prekindergarten through higher education.

(b) Award.—Prior to March 31 of each year (beginning with the second calendar year that begins after the date of enactment of this Act), the Recognizing Inspirational School Employees (RISE) Award Program shall recommend to the Secretary a classified school employee to receive the Recognizing Inspirational School Employees (RISE) Award for the year.

(c) Selection process.—

(1) NOMINATION PROCESS.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—Not later than November 1 of each year (beginning with the first calendar year that begins after the date of enactment of this Act), the Secretary shall solicit nominations of classified school employees in public schools from the occupational specialties described in section 3(1) from the chief State school officer of each State.

(B) NOMINATION SUBMISSIONS.—In order for individuals in a State to be eligible to receive recognition under this section, the chief State school officer shall consider nominations submitted by the following:

(i) Local educational agencies.

(ii) School administrators.

(iii) Professional associations.

(iv) Labor organizations.

(v) Educational service agencies.

(vi) Any other group determined appropriate by the Recognizing Inspirational School Employees (RISE) Award Program.

(2) DEMONSTRATION.—Each chief State school officer of a State who desires individuals in the State to receive recognition under this section shall submit the nominations described in paragraph (1) to the Secretary in such manner as may be required by the Recognizing Inspirational School Employees (RISE) Award Program. Each such nomination shall contain, at a minimum, demonstrations of excellence in the following areas:

(A) Work performance.

(B) School and community involvement.

(C) Leadership and commitment.

(D) Local support.

(E) Enhancement of classified school employees' image in the community and schools.

(F) Any other area of superior performance, such as health and safety promotion or efficient use of energy or other resources.

(3) SELECTION.—The Recognizing Inspirational School Employees (RISE) Award Program shall develop uniform national guidelines for evaluating nominations submitted under paragraph (2) in order to select the most deserving nominees based on the demonstrations made in the areas described in such paragraph.