November 18, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: On National ESP Day, Jeffco Education Support Professional Association urges Governor and school district to work together on supporting students during pandemic
JEFFERSON COUNTY – Today, on National ESP Day, in an open letter to Governor Polis, the Jeffco Education Support Professional Association (JESPA) urges all state and local agencies from the Governor to local district boards to coordinate clear, science-backed directives, with financial supports, that prioritize the health of citizens over the economy. This comes as Polis recently revised the COVID dial to include a Level Purple, now higher than Red, which would trigger a stay-at-home order from the Governor’s office, but still not bring in-person learning to an end.
“We understand the financial impacts of a stay-at-home order. In fact, many of our own workers would face layoffs if the pandemic stretches on. But the current political climate of fuzzy decision making and pitting educators, workers, parents, and agencies against each other has been frustrating and unsettling for many of our school workers who feel like they’re being asked to die for the economy” said Lara Center, JESPA President.
The open letter to Governor Polis urges him to bring decision-makers from all levels of government together to devise a cohesive message, backed by science, that can be implemented across Colorado.
“We want our local school board working with the department of health, Governor Polis, parents, and workers to keep people employed, working in the best interest of students in creative ways until we get the pandemic under control” Center said.
Education Support Professionals (ESPs) comprise approximately 4,000 workers across 250 job titles in Jefferson County Public Schools and are represented since 1966 by the Jeffco Education Support Professionals Association (JESPA).