Summer is upon us, and parents, children and teachers are winding down from what has been an exhausting and fully operational school year—the first since the devastating pandemic. The long-lasting impact of COVID-19 has affected our students’ and families’ well-being and ignited the politics surrounding public schools. All signs point to the coming school year unfolding with the same sound and fury, and if extremist culture warriors have their way, being even more divisive and stressful.
What are my dues and where do they go are often two questions that get asked by union members. Those are very legitimate questions and I hope to give some clarity.
First let me discuss how dues are assessed. Unlike the teachers whose dues are based on the full time equivalency (FTEs), the dues for educational support professionals (ESPs) of which paraprofessionals are one of the categories are assessed dues based on their earnings. This is done by taking the state average salary for teachers and then breaking that down into percentages based on that salary. Currently, the average salary
Next week is election day and it is our chance to vote for those who will represent us in local, state and national positions. Education Minnesota tracks voter information and paraprofessionals vote at a lesser rate than teachers or other school professionals. Often they hear that there isn’t enough time to vote, my vote doesn’t matter or I didn’t know who to vote for as excuses why someone did not vote in any given election. Let’s address all three of these excuses one by one.
“There isn’t enough time to vote.” I get it, we are all very busy. I know many paraprofessionals work second (or
Attacks on public education in America by extremists and culture-war peddling politicians have reached new heights (“lows” may be more apt), but they are not new. The difference today is that the attacks are intended not just to undermine public education but to destroy it.