It’s common knowledge amongst educators that professional development for education support professionals (ESPs) is largely non-existent or irrelevant, if offered at all. Whether five or 20 years on the job, ESPs receive limited access to career learning opportunities unless they provide it themselves. “Everyone thinks professional development is for teachers only,” says Matthew Powell, custodial supervisor at Central Elementary School in Mayfield, Ky. “But ESPs also need the opportunity to learn and grow in their careers.” After working for 12 years as a special education paraeducator, Powell returned to college
Until voters recognize what ESP do every day to help their children succeed, they will continue to be under appreciated, underpaid, and over worked. Our hope is that through education, people will come to better understand the crucial role ESP play in the lives of their children and be willing to give them the pay and benefits ESP deserve.
We are asking you and you members to tell us your priorities, your stories, what you face every day in your schools, and what message you want us to deliver to the public to educate voters. This feedback will guide us in making this campaign a success.
ESP Educate and Elevate Survey
Education Support Professionals Issues Committee
Composed of eleven NEA-NH members, the ESP Committee’s job is to advise the President and Executive Board of ESP concerns and issues. Please let us know what concerns, issues, questions, and information you want us to bring to the governance of NEA-NH. We want to hear from you!
The ESP Committee meets monthly and provides reports to the NEA-NH Executive Board. Contact the Committee by e-mailing or calling our staff liaison, Nicole Argraves at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 603-593-0088.
ESP: History and Background
Education Support Professionals: An essential part of One Education Workforce
In early 2009, Education Support Professional (ESP) membership in the National Education Association topped half a million, reflecting a 3200% growth since we gained full membership status in 1980.
Education Support Professionals were first recognized as Association members in 1967, when “Educational Secretaries” received membership. A category for “Auxiliary Personnel,” or paraprofessionals, was added in 1972. “Educational Support Personnel”—encompassing all non-teaching education employees— was established as a separate membership category in 1980. ESP won a position on the NEA Board of Directors in 1983, and we continued to expand our representation in governance throughout the 1980s.