Education Week - June 6, 2018 - 1
VOL. 37, NO. 34 * JUNE 6, 2018
AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2018 Editorial Projects in Education * $ 5
BRE AKING NEWS DAILY
Stakes High for
Support Staff Can Go Unpaid
When Schools Close For Walkouts
By Madeline Will
Matt Roth for Education Week
of the job that requires them, most essentially, to build trust with
The survey findings come as elected officials and policymakers
push to add more school-based officers in response to two large school
shootings this year.
Nearly 400 school officers responded to the online survey administered by the Education Week Research Center in March and April,
after a gunman killed 17 people in the February school shooting in
Parkland, Fla., and before 10 people were killed in a May attack in a
high school in Santa Fe, Texas.
Two high-casualty school shootings so close together have intensified debates about school safety, leading districts and governors to
convene task forces and scrape together any funding they can find to
The national spotlight on strikes and walkouts this spring has been on teachers. But in
the shadows was another group that's just as
critical for keeping schools running: support
Often overlooked in the broader public discourse, these workers, including instructional
aides and paraprofessionals, sometimes had
more at stake in the walkouts than full-time
teachers usually do. When schools were
closed, many didn't get paid.
"Anytime we hear about how bad conditions
are for teachers in these states, they're worse
for support staff," said Rebecca Kolins Givan, an
associate professor of labor studies and employment relations at Rutgers University. "They're
really struggling. There's a lot of school support
staff who are eligible for Medicaid, who are eligible for food stamps, who are working multiple
other jobs in addition to their school job to make
The goals of much of the teacher activism this spring-higher wages, more school
funding-are shared by support employees, especially paraprofessional educators.
Those workers, who do not all have college
degrees, are working directly with students,
side by side with the teachers. They give
individual attention to students, many of
whom have special needs. In states with
ballooning class sizes and fewer resources,
the paraeducators help keep the classroom
"The joke going around is we're a little bit
crazy, because we do this job for nothing,"
School resource officer Don Bridges, center, talks with 9th grade student Jason Richardson, right, and school registrar Darlene Gilberto, at
Franklin High School in Reisterstown, Md. Bridges helped launch the Baltimore County school district's police program 20 years ago.
Ready for a Shooter? Some School Police Say No
By Evie Blad
One in five school police officers say their school is not prepared to
handle an active-shooter situation, according to a nationally representative survey of school resource officers conducted by the Education Week Research Center.
And some school police report they haven't been adequately trained
to work in schools. Some also say their schools don't set limits on
their role in student discipline, which civil rights groups say is necessary to protect the rights of students.
School law enforcement officials say some officers will never feel
fully prepared for an event like a shooting because they are always
looking for ways to improve. They also have to balance the need to
be ready for unlikely worst-case scenarios with the everyday duties
QUALITY COUNTS 2018 Finance
A Look Into K-12's
Policymakers wrestle with how
to best distribute K-12 aid.
Caleb Kenna for Education Week
Education Week puts the nation's K-12
finance performance under the microscope in
the second installment of Quality Counts 2018.
This data-driven special report focuses on the
money that keeps thousands of school districts
afloat-how much gets spent, how it's divvied
up, and how states compare with each other in
paying for a K-12 public education.
Despite some bright spots on key indicators
and high-performers among individual states,
the nation takes home a C on school finance
overall. This report unpacks what's behind that
middling grade and the headwinds states face
in assuring enough resources get to the right
places for the nation's students.
A web of factors lies behind
the nation's mediocre score
on school finance.
Gavin Lefervre and Rosalie Bleau read in a 2nd and 3rd grade class at the Stamford School
in rural Stamford, Vt. The challenges states face in raising and distributing school funding
include local economics, demographics, and even geography.
Budget and political pressures
View each state's performance
on school finance overall.