WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-05) and Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) introduced bipartisan legislation designating and celebrating the week of April 25 through April 29, 2022, as “National Specialized Instructional Support Personnel Appreciation Week.” Schools are home to more than one million specialized instructional support personnel across the United States. This includes school counselors, social workers, psychologists, nurses, occupational and physical therapists, speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and more.
“Specialized instruction support staff are the unsung heroes of our schools. They work behind the scenes to ensure both students and teachers can succeed. I know it would have been impossible to do my job as a teacher without them,” said Congresswoman Hayes. “The road to full pandemic recovery warrants critical investments in school support systems. Students and families deserve access to robust networks of social workers, school psychologists, occupational therapists, counselors, nurses and more. Now is the time to reaffirm our national commitment to the work of support staff.”
“I am proud to once again join my colleague Rep. Hayes to introduce the Specialized Instructional Support Personnel (SISP) Week resolution,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick. “We must show our immense gratitude to the over one million men and women who serve as SISP and provide essential services to ensure our students have the resources they need to succeed.”
Support personnel provide students with prevention and early intervention services to reduce barriers to learning. Congresswoman Hayes and her colleagues commend these vital professionals who provide students with critical support at school.
This resolution builds on the Save Education Jobs Act, a bill introduced by Congresswoman Hayes to save nearly 4 million education jobs, spur economic growth in the midst of an economic crisis and help mitigate the impacts of students’ learning loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding from the Save Education Jobs Act would go towards protecting the jobs of teachers, school leaders, school psychologists, social workers, nurses, bus drivers, paraprofessionals, librarians, and more. Local school districts would also be able to use this funding to hire more teachers for specialized instructional support personnel to meet their increased need during the unprecedented transition to hybrid or distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Congresswoman Jahana Hayes sits on the Committees on Education & Labor and Agriculture and proudly represents Connecticut’s 5th District. She was a public school teacher in Connecticut for more than 15 years and was recognized in 2016 as the National Teacher of the Year.