Since CSEA’s founding in 1927, members have strived to make their communities aware of classified employees’ contributions to public education.
Gov. Ronald Reagan first proclaimed Classified School Employee Week in 1969, stating that “The classified employee is proud of his status and the integral part he plays in the total field of education throughout the State of California.”
In 1984, CSEA members passed a resolution to establish an official recognition week, and a year later it was adopted as a state-sponsored resolution. Then, in 1986, Senate Bill 1552 (Campbell) permanently solidified Classified School Employee Week as an annual week of statewide recognition.
Bill sponsor William Campbell said, “I urge all citizens to work closely to take time out and to think about school days and recall the efforts of the bus drivers, secretaries, custodians and all the other classified staff they met and knew. As much as any other group of employees, the classified school staff is a valued and integral part of our public schools system and their work is vital to our children’s success.”
The ensuing recognition led to newspaper articles and resolutions by local school districts. There were picnics, award ceremonies and other events. Today, the tradition continues as schools up and down the state celebrate the third week in May as Classified School Employee Week.