Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Teachers are the largest group of school employees.  The second largest group is the school staff classed as auxiliary.  The auxiliary staff is also called school support staff, school support personnel, and education support personnel (ESP).  They are bus drivers, custodians, food service workers, secretaries, bookkeepers, maintenance technicians, etc.  It is estimated that almost 3 million school support personnel are working in our nation’s public schools.  During the 2017-2018 school year, 36,057 support personnel were employed in Alabama’s 1,473 public schools.

School support personnel play a pivotal role in the education of students.  Research indicates that the support staff should be treated as equals to the teaching staff and this will inevitably have a positive impact on students and their education.  School support staff should be included in formulating a school district’s strategic plan.  They can assist to improve the school’s climate and culture.

School support personnel are great communicators.  They serve as community liaisons by telling the public of schools’ outstanding programs and academic success of students.  These individuals are “positive messengers” because many of them connect with people in their communities.

Good schools recognize the contributions of school support personnel or education support personnel (ESP).  Along with the students, many of them are “stars in public schools”.


Gerald Shirley

Retired School Administrator

Selma, Alabama