Support Professionals

psrpbrochure13cover-s Our Work

There are thousands of paraprofessionals and support personnel across the great state of Texas. We share a pride in our work and our schools, but our students are always first in our minds and our hearts. Read more about support professionals…



Read the latest Support Report
For paraprofessional & school related personnel members of Texas AFT.



Support Professional News

Houston support professionals

Members of the Houston Educational Support Personnel, an affiliate of Texas AFT, are celebrating a hard-won victory against privatization in how their school district’s food service program is managed.

Last month, the Houston Independent … (read more…)

Marathon hearings on funding for higher education have been under way in the state Senate Finance Committee Wednesday and Thursday. Texas AFT and allies in these hearings are making the case for key programs that enhance educational opportunities in both preK-12 and higher education.

A highlight of Wednesday evening’s testimony came when representatives of the Texas Association for … (read more…)

In recent testimony on state agencies’ budget requests, Texas AFT’s Government Relations team has seized the chance to urge investments in community colleges and in college scholarships for paraprofessionals seeking teaching degrees.  The testimony was delivered at joint hearings of the Legislative Budget Board staff and the staff of the Governor’s Budget Office. These hearings held in … (read more…)

Countless AFT members go beyond their regular responsibilities and make a difference every day in their workplace or the community. AFT wants to hear about these everyday heroes and give them the recognition they deserve.

This could be a co-worker who has made a difference in his or her workplace; a member who has had a profound and positive impact on the community; or someone whose … (read more…)

The two-year budget bill passed by the legislature in May provides $1.5 million for tuition exemptions for educational aides who take courses toward teacher certification in a critical shortage subject area at Texas public institutions of higher education. Funding for this valuable program of need-based exemptions was zeroed out in the budget-slashing session of 2011, but the program remained on … (read more…)


A deadly school-bus crash in Houston this week has prompted calls to rethink and retool both state and local bus-safety policies. The accident reportedly occurred when another vehicle veered into the Houston ISD school bus on an elevated roadway and caused it to plunge through a guardrail to the ground below. Two students were killed, while the driver and two others were injured but survived. The … (read more…)


The two-year budget bill passed by the legislature in May provides $1.5 million for tuition exemptions for educational aides who take courses toward teacher certification in a critical shortage subject area at Texas public institutions of higher education. Funding for this valuable program of need-based exemptions was zeroed out in the budget-slashing session of 2011, but the program remained on … (read more…)


We are pleased to report that the budget bill signed by Gov. Abbott on June 20 will restore funding at long last for the program of tuition scholarships for educational aides who enroll in college courses to become teachers. This highly successful and effective program, whose budget was cut to zero in 2011, will receive an infusion of $1.5 million over the 2016-2017 biennium. Credit for getting … (read more…)

A partial budget agreement announced by state House and Senate negotiators Wednesday afternoon reflected misplaced priorities on the biggest items at issue, but there was one bright spot.
First, the bad news:  The House appeared to accept the Senate’s position on formula aid for school districts, which was well short of the overall increase proposed by the House … (read more…)

This afternoon, Sens. Alexander and Murray—the chair and the ranking member, respectively, of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee—announced that they had broken … (read more…)


The goal of coordinated, effective early learning that’s available to all children could take a big step forward if an amendment—one that garnered support from both sides of the aisle in the Senate this week—makes it into the final version of the nation’s keystone federal law for K-12 education.

The amendment, approved by voice vote … (read more…)


When President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in 1965, it was a centerpiece of the War on Poverty. It provided funding that is critical to many of the schools where our members teach. The law was designed to ensure that every school got the resources to teach students, particularly in neighborhoods or … (read more…)


Right before getting together for their annual meeting of school and college support professionals, members of AFT PSRP got together to give back to the community that hosted them.

This year, paraprofessionals and school-related personnel teamed up with Smart from the Start, a program that supports school readiness, to host a community day on April 16 in the Woodland Terrace neighborhood of … (read more…)

The Houston Educational Support Personnel Union, our local affiliate for support employees in Houston ISD, on April 1 kicked off a new Riding Reading Program in collaboration with the district that will get transportation workers involved in efforts to promote literacy for the students riding their school buses. HESP Union President Wretha Thomas announced that bus attendants during the week of … (read more…)

While big hearings on pre-kindergarten expansion, A-F school ratings, and full-time, online instruction via “virtual vouchers” engaged our attention this week, Texas AFT’s legislative team also took part in hearings on other important issues and took a stand on other key bills. Examples include:

–Senate Education Committee:  Texas AFT supported SB 13, a bill by Sen. Charles Perry, … (read more…)

We have another piece of good news to report from Monday’s budget work in the House Appropriations Committee. The subcommittee on education funding has voted to restore funding for 2016-2017 for college scholarships to educational aides seeking to become teachers. This funding, if it survives in the final budget, would be the first since spending for these cost-effective scholarships was cut to … (read more…)

Our last Hotline outlined the comprehensive attack on public schools embodied in many bills already filed in the 2015 legislature. That attack underwritten by moneyed interests has three basic elements:  underfunding; then declaring failure based on misuse of test scores; and ultimately privatizing and deprofessionalizing public education.

But there’s an alternative, positive agenda worth … (read more…)

In testimony today before the House Appropriations subcommittee on education funding, Texas AFT legislative spokesman Ted Melina Raab renewed our call to restore tuition scholarships for educational aides who need financial aid to pursue a college degree leading to teacher certification. Melina Raab noted that the program was a highly successful “grow-your-own-teachers” strategy for Texas … (read more…)

Texas AFT’s Ted Melina Raab also called for restoration of funding for a highly successful program of tuition scholarships for educational aides. Here’s the pertinent part of Texas AFT’s Senate Finance Committee testimony:

Among the more than 65,000 members of Texas AFT are many who have been helped by the Teach for Texas Loan Repayment program and the … (read more…)


Related: Read the Release on Ebola and “Safe Schools Week”

Over the past several months, the Ebola … (read more…)

National AFT media are reporting a labor-management policy breakthrough spearheaded by AFT members in Houston ISD, another Texas stop on AFT President Weingarten’s back-to-school tour. Here’s the story:

The nation’s first anti-bullying policy for school employees, an effort initiated by Houston educational support workers, developed collaboratively with school administration and now part of … (read more…)

A recent state court ruling in California made it legal there for “trained school support staff” to administer insulin to students without the supervision of a nurse. Texas law since 2005 has authorized non-medical school personnel to serve as “unlicensed diabetes care assistants” under the supervision of their principal.

AFT knows that medication administration is a task that … (read more…)

The Texas Legislature has enacted a new law bolstering the authority of school bus drivers to protect students’ safety onboard their buses by enforcing discipline. The law, which took effect over the summer, authorizes drivers to send disruptive students to the principal’s office. It also requires school administrators to respond with appropriate discipline.

Senate Bill 1541 was strongly … (read more…)

The Texas House gave final approval today to SB 1541 by Sen. Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio), a bill to bolster the authority of school bus drivers to maintain safety and order on board by removing disruptive students. The bill requires each district’s code of student conduct to specify the circumstances in which students may be removed from a school bus, and it affirms that drivers may … (read more…)


  1. Betsy Roberson says

    When will para-professionals get a raise. We do the same work as teachers except for paper work. Our demands get higher and our pay stays the same.

    • says

      With a couple rare exceptions in state pay raises and stipends, all compensation for school employees is decided at the local level. Thus, it’s entirely dependent on your school district to enact a pay raise. That said, increased funding at the state level can make increases at the local level more likely. Several of our local unions have been successful at increasing pay for support professionals recently. We don’t have a full local union in Spring, but we have a significant number of members there. If you’re interested in spearheading a campaign with your co-workers for higher pay, we’d be happy to assist. Unfortunately, the best time to campaign for higher wages in early is the district budget process (e.g. leading into a new calendar year). But if you organize around the idea now, you’ll be in a better position to ask for an increase next year.

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