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One Conference 2019

Wow, the new school year has begun and our schedules are getting busy!! Mark your calendars. Here is a conference you don’t want to miss. Please click the link for agenda and sessions offered. Absolutely the best conference that supports ESPs!!

One Conference

October 4-5, 2019
DoubleTree by Hilton
Oak Brook, IL
Register

Please join us for the 2019 One Conference for IEA Education Support Professionals (ESP), Higher Education, and IEA Retired members. The two-day event will offer a variety of elective sessions and feature keynote speaker,  Gordon Lafer, professor at the University of Oregon’s Labor Education and Research Center and author of The One Percent Solution: How Corporations Are Remaking America, One State at a Time.

Registration Fee: $20 per registrant prior to the event; $30 per registrant onsite.
Registration Deadline: Friday, September 20, 2019
Dress: Casual

We look forward to seeing you at the 2019 One Conference!

Alex Wallace, ESP Council Chair
Vivian Zimmerman, Council on Higher Education Chair
Jim Duffy, Council of Retirees

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IMPORTANT

There are some important issues and changes in law that directly impact school support staff the Illinois Education Association wants to draw your attention to, including:
A survey for teachers’ aides and classroom paraprofessionals who have been physically harmed on school grounds to share your experiences; A new law that allows employees of special education co-ops who are part of the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund system to count unused sick days toward retirement from one district when they go to another; The state’s new $15 minimum wage law, and; A new measure that allows schools to tap into additional money to hire school counselors, mental health professionals and resource officers to improve safety. 

1. First up, the survey 
Are you a teachers’ aide or classroom paraprofessional who has been physically harmed on school grounds between Aug. 1, 2017 and June 1, 2020?
 Charles Bell, Ph.D., an assistant professor of criminal justice studies at Illinois State University, is looking for teachers and teachers’ aides from middle schools and high schools (grades six to 12) in Illinois to participate in his research study, which is exploring educator victimization, safety and your perceptions of school punishment.

The information will be used to make school policy recommendations regarding the safety of K-12 educators and staff members. All responses are confidential and respondents will be paid $50 each for completing the study.

The Illinois Education Association has agreed to promote this study to help gather data in regard to a new business item passed at the 2019 IEA Representative Assembly, in which the IEA was directed by members “to develop a toolkit to help local leaders bring awareness to and provide support and proactive strategies to represent the needs of members who have been victims of physical or sexual assault at work.”

Bell has agreed to share his findings with IEA when the study is complete.

Please feel free to share this study with your teachers. If you have any questions about the study, please feel free to email Bell at CABELL6@ILSTU.EDU or call 313-953-6772.

2. New sick day law
In the past, employees of special education co-operatives who contribute to the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund have not been eligible to keep accumulated unused unpaid sick leave when they leave that district and apply it toward their retirement when they go to a new district.

With special education co-operatives dissolving in many areas of the state, this is a major issue for IEA’s teacher aides and classroom paraprofessionals.

So, in the most recent legislative session, IEA drafted and worked with members in the metro east area and legislators to pass House Bill 2884, which allows IMRF contributors to leave those accumulated days with the current district (up to a year’s worth) and apply them toward their final retirement calculations, no matter which district they are employed in when they finally do retire. This is a major victory for IEA members.

3. $15 minimum wage law
The IEA has been fighting for a living wage for years and this year, the Illinois legislature finally passed a $15 minimum wage law.

The new plan will raise the Illinois minimum wage to $9.25 per hour from $8.25 on Jan. 1, followed by a gradual increase every year until it reaches $15 per hour in 2025.

IEA anticipates this will help raise the pay of members who currently fall below the $15 per hour threshold, but also likely will help raise the pay of other members as the bottom of the scale rises.

4. School safety hires
Legislation also was passed this year that directs districts to develop threat assessment teams made up of school personnel, mental health professionals and local law enforcement to determine whether there are threats in the district and how to address them.

It also allows the district to expand the use of the countywide 1-cent-sales-tax dollars some counties have passed to pay for building projects to also pay for safety improvements, as well as personnel to help keep schools safe, including school resource officers, school counselors and other mental health professionals.
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NEA ESP Leadership Institute

Are you looking for a way to advance your leadership skills? The NEA is now accepting applications for the NEA ESP Leadership Institute (ESPLI)! Learn more and apply at nea.org/espli before September 13, 2019.

NEA ESP Leadership Institute

NEA ESP Leadership Institute (ESPLI) is a powerful leadership development program, grounded in diversity, equity and cultural competence that brings together the overarching NEA Leadership Competencies (Advocacy, Communication, Governance and Leadership, Leading Our Professions, and Organizing) to train ESP members to be effective leaders in their associations. ESPLI is designed and collaboratively delivered by ESP members. This eleven-month program requires participants to commit to three in-person trainings, webinars, outside reading and completion of a capstone project designed to elevate the goals of their association and NEA’s core values.

Education Support Professionals

ESP Rights In the Spotlight on the World Stage

I love that my union fights for ESPs everyday. The National Education Association is fighting to give all ESPs the voice they deserve here at home and around the world.

Click for Complete Article

Education International gave voice to education support professionals across the globe at its 8th Annual World Congress held last month in Bangkok, Thailand.

Education International (EI) is a 400-member federation of global teachers’ trade unions representing 32 million education personnel, and its World Congress is a meeting of the decision-making body that determines the policy, programs, and budget for the organization.

This year the World Congress voted unanimously in support of the rights and status of Education Support Personnel (ESP) and to officially declare May 16th as World ESP Day to recognize their work and contribution to quality education.

Attending the congress was an NEA delegation that include ESP members Lois Yukna and Saul Ramos. Ramos, a paraeducator from Massachusetts and the 2017 ESP of the year, addressed the World Congress in favor of the resolution to support ESPs. NEA Today spoke to Ramos about his experience at EI. Click button to read more about Ramos and the World Congress event.

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Membership Kick Off at the IEA Minooka Office

Today a fabulous group of members attended the IEA Membership Kickoff that was hosted at the Minooka IEA Office! Members spent their day honing their skills to better represent their members.

Topics covered were: Members Benefits, Getting to Know Legal, Membership Processing, IEA Communication: Tools and Tricks, Elections Training, Tips For Starting The Year, TRS, IMRF, and Financials Procedures Training.

NEA and IEA staff presented multiple topics but we were honored to have members from area locals also present. Patricia Hendrix, SEEGC (ESP) and Jill Scarcelli, TROY EDU. ASSO. (ESP) – Both members of the IEA ESP Council were two of today’s presenters. Also presenting were Jen Silverman, TROY EDU. ASSO. (Certified) and Megan Krull, Braceville EA. (Certified)

#Nosummersoff #StrongerUnited #rESPect

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NEA ESP LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE APPLY NOW!!

NEA ESP Leadership Institute (formerly ESP Leaders for Tomorrow) online application now available! Deadline is midnight, September 13, 2019.


NEA ESP Leadership Institute

NEA ESP Leadership Institute (ESPLI) is a powerful leadership development program, grounded in diversity, equity and cultural competence that brings together the overarching NEA Leadership Competencies (Advocacy, Communication, Governance and Leadership, Leading Our Professions, and Organizing) to train ESP members to be effective leaders in their associations. ESPLI is designed and collaboratively delivered by ESP members. This eleven-month program requires participants to commit to three in-person trainings, webinars, outside reading and completion of a capstone project designed to elevate the goals of their association and NEA’s core values.

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PARAPROFESSIONAL SUPPORT STAFF: THE RELIABLE BACKBONE OF OUR SCHOOLS

As we read about “teacher” strikes across the country and the fight for better pay, smaller class sizes, sound infrastructure and adequate resources for schools, we don’t often hear about the paraprofessional and school support staff who also are walking the picket lines and making sure that children are cared for and their families fed during these walkouts. Paraprofessional and school support personnel are just as important as teachers and make just as much of a difference on strike day — and every day.

It’s not surprising that paraprofessional and support staff remain largely ignored during coverage of work actions. By definition, they work in a supporting role behind the scenes to make sure schools and colleges run smoothly, so sometimes they can seem invisible.

Paraprofessional and Support Staff Losing Pay

Classified employees, or paraprofessional and support staff, are most often paid hourly. In many cases, if they’re offered healthcare insurance, it’s unaffordable. The district often cuts back their hours just far enough so that they’re not eligible for any benefits. This differs from their teacher or administrative co-workers. So, when school is out for bad weather or building-related issues, paraprofessional and support staff lose pay, while their co-workers do not.

Paraprofessionals, bus drivers, custodians, secretaries and the many other job categories are vital to their entire school or college communities. It’s important to acknowledge the work they do and to ensure they have the resources and respect they deserve.

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NEA ESP Leaders for Tomorrow Overview and Guidelines

Exciting News!

For the last 11 years, the NEA ESP Leaders for Tomorrow (LFT) program has supported the development of nearly 200 ESP leaders in 45 states across the country. The LFT program has been instrumental in helping ESP members acquire skills and confidence to lead at the local level. Many program graduates have even stepped into state or national leadership positions. This strength and success has seeded a desire to expand its positive impact. To accomplish this, we’re happy to announce Leaders for Tomorrow will be restructured to reach and develop an increasingly growing body of ESP leaders.

The redesign effort will commence in Spring 2018 and progress towards five important outcomes, all designed to assure growth and strength of ESP and their affiliates:

  • quality and impact for ESP participants, 
  • deep and deliberate connections with local affiliates, 
  • alignment with NEA Leadership Competencies, 
  • increased number of annual participants, and
  • strategic engagement and activism of LFT alumni.

Applications for the next cohort of Leaders for Tomorrow will open shortly after the redesign is complete. Check back for updates!

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NEA RA 2019 Houston

NEA RA 2019

Today I’m packing and prepping for the NEA RA in Houston. Many of your ESP Council members will be attending and will arrive there on Tuesday for a busy week of meetings and voting on amendments (legislative & constitutional), resolutions, policy… and more. We would love to hear your ideas or concerns. Go to NEA RA 2019. Go to business item tab. You can review items and share your thoughts here. We will take your ideas and concerns to Houston. Please comment below or contact us using the Contact Your ESP Council tab on the main menu. We look forward to hearing from you!

Our Democracy. Our Responsibility. Our Time!
#StrongPublicSchools
#StrongerTogether
#UnionStrong

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NEA RA 2019

Who is heading to Houston and attending the NEA RA 2019?

NEA RA

The World’s Largest Democratic Deliberative Assembly

NEA’s Annual Meeting takes place during the final week of June and/or the first week of July. Various committees, constituencies, caucuses, leadership groups, and delegates from state and local affiliates gather to set policy and chart the direction of NEA business. The 2019 Annual Meeting will take place in Houston, Texas.

Thousands of NEA members will come together to voice their ideas and beliefs, to vote on various policies that will help grow our membership and make our membership stronger. I am extremely proud to be able to attend!

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DID YOU KNOW?

Member Benefits

Your IEA membership guarantees representation at the bargaining table and ensures you have access to free legal services should the need ever arise.

UniServ Directors – IEA’s front-line

UniServ Directors (UDs), located at 22 offices statewide, are IEA’s front-line support for your local association. UDs advocate for your best professional interests and support your efforts to provide high-quality education. Your working conditions are your students’ learning conditions. Like you, IEA wants both to be the best they can be.

Contract negotiations

As a public education employee, your union, as your exclusive bargaining representative, has the legal right to negotiate the terms of your employment. Your contract is the basis for most of your employee rights. It spells out your working hours, evaluation process, work/life benefits, job responsibilities, use of social media and school safety.

Your UD supports your local representatives as they negotiate contracts representing your – and ultimately your students’ – best interests.

Other areas of expertise

UDs also help your local association, at no additional cost, with:

Contract interpretation • Grievance processing • Job security protection • Training programs to meet local needs • Employee counseling for work-related problems • Arbitration case presentations • Unemployment information • Bargaining crisis preparation • Retirement concerns • Public relation programs development • Governance matters assistance • Civil rights violations process • IEA-NEA benefits access

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Summer Time Recharge

Many ESPs have started or are about to start their summertime recharge. Once the last student leaves the building and you head home, take time for you and recharge your mind, body, and spirit. Many ESPs work second or third jobs to help make ends meet. I encourage you to try to slow down, breathe, and do something you enjoy.

To the many ESPs who work all summer, thank you for doing what you do to prepare for the upcoming school year! What you do is extremely important. I also encourage you to find time to do a little recharge as well. You deserve it!!

You only have one you and you deserve to rest. Thank you for being a hero to so many! Thank you for putting your students successes to the forefront, and thank you for your tireless determination to make our students, schools, and communities better. Enjoy your summer!

WE ARE ESP!!

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Accepting Applications to Present at the 2019 One Conference

ESPs are the backbone of our education system. We support, educate, and inspire our students and help them reach success. Do you wish you had a certain training you could attend to improve your skills? Do you have an idea or topic for a session you would like to present to other ESPs? We are looking for presenters for the One Conference in October for every ESP job category. Yes, you can share your acknowledge and skills with others. Please submit an RFP to present at this years One Conference. I have submitted mine.

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Conference Scholarship Opportunities Available

CONFERENCE SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS AVAILABLE NOW!
Applications are being accepted for the following conferences:
o 2019 IEA One Conference – due Sept. 6
o 2019 IEA Ethnic Minority & Emerging Leadership Training (EMELT) – due Sept. 16

The applications are available on Members Only under EVENTS/Funding.

Applications can either be mailed to the attention of Kathi Griffin, President of IEA, 100 E. Edwards St., Springfield, IL, 62704 or emailed to Courtney Gillespie. Any questions regarding funding for the conferences can be directed to Courtney Gillespie.

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Center for Great Public Schools Webinar What You Need to Know: ESP Mentoring ESP in the Workplace

Don’t miss this opportunity to participate in the National Education Association’s webinar What You Need to Know: ESP Mentoring ESP in the Workplace

Thursday, May 23, 2019
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM EST

Register at http://neaorg.adobeconnect.com/evbo41l2ikly/event/event_info.html


Do you have inadequate opportunities for professional learning and support? Are you working in isolation with little to no feedback or support? Would you or your ESP colleagues benefit from mentoring? Join our webinar and find out ‘what you need to know’ before developing or designing an ESP peer mentoring program. In this webinar, we will also hear from the Schaumburg Educational Employees Organization (SEEO) about their Partners mentoring program, which has been in existence since 1999 and from the Cedar Rapids Organization of Teacher Associates (CROTA), who are developing a mentoring program for newly hired paraeducators. Let’s learn more about how ESP can support one another through high-quality mentoring programs to build professional excellence across their entire career continuum and ensure student success.

Presenters:

Kandy Bekeris, President, Cedar Rapids Organization of Teacher Associates (CROTA), Iowa
Tania Johnson, President, Cedar Rapids Education Association (CREA), Iowa

Connie Joniec, New Employees & Partners Chair, Schaumburg Educational Employees Organization (SEEO), Illinois

Grace Hwang, Senior Program Specialist, National Education Association, Education Support Professional Quality
INTENDED AUDIENCE:
NEA affiliate leaders, staff, members and partners. All interested parties are welcome. You are encouraged to forward this invite to your partners, leaders and other team members.
Questions? Contact Jessica Brinkley at jdbrinkley@nea.org.
For more ESP professional development opportunities visit http://www.nea.org/esppd.

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Upcoming Training’s and Events

Share with Members

  • Restorative Practices and Prosocial Skills Training: Interested in learning more about non-exclusionary student discipline? Register today for one or both of our summer training opportunities. On day one we will learn about restorative practices as a straightforward problem-solving framework that can be used as an alternative to exclusionary discipline. On day two we will learn about prosocial skills training as an intervention designed to promote prosocial behavior in adolescents using techniques to develop social skills, emotional control, and moral reasoning. All workshops will begin at 10 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. Lunch and clock hours will be available. Register for one or both trainings. Space is limited! Register today.

Trainings will be held at the following locations:

  • June 11 & 12, Bloomington IEA Office
  • June 25 & 26, Springfield IEA Professional Development Center
  • The IEA Summer Book Study will begin on June 3. Our next book will be “The Restorative Practices Handbook for Teachers, Disciplinarians, and Administrators: Building a Culture of Community in Schools” by Bob Costello, Joshua Wachtel, and Ted Wachtel.
  • Summer Leadership Academy (SLA) July 22 – 25 registration is open!

The IEA Summer Leadership Academy (SLA) will be held July 22-25, 2019 at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois.

Many of the highly valued SLA “Schools,” which offer in-depth training over a-day-and-a-half, will reach their capacity limits during the Early-Bird Registration period, which starts now and ends June 15. SLA Schools will be offered on Tuesday, July 23 and on Wednesday morning, July 24. The Organizing School will begin at 10 a.m. and the ESP Emerging Leaders Academy will begin at 12 p.m. on Monday, July 22. On Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, a wide-range of professional development sessions will be offered.

New Presidents Orientation and Experienced Presidents Pre-Training will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, July 22. Beginning on Tuesday, Presidents Schools will be offered through Thursday at noon. Please register here for the 2019 Summer Leadership Academy.

  • Degrees Not Debt Resources

Did you know the IEA website has a Degrees Not Debt section with the new Department of Education Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) help tool?  The automated tool walks participants through the PSLF Program, helps them assess if their employer and loans qualify for PSLF, helps them decide which forms to submit and even helps by completing the necessary forms. Any member interested can access the tool on the IEA website at Degrees Not Debt.

  • The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is accepting nominations for the 2020 Illinois Teacher of the Year and Those Who Excel awards. The awards honor individuals who have made significant contributions to Illinois’ public and nonpublic PreK-12 schools. Any person or organization may submit nominations for the awards. Nominations are open in several categories, including:

o    Classroom Teacher (Licensed)

o    Early Career Educator

o    Education Service Personnel (Unlicensed)

o    School Administrator

o    School Board Member/Community Volunteer

o    Student Support Personnel (Licensed)

o    Team

ISBE will select the 2020 Illinois Teacher of the Year from the Classroom Teacher category. A nomination packet can be accessed here.All nominations must be received electronically (by close of business) or postmarked by Monday, June 3, 2019.  Submit nominations by email to jseiler@isbe.net or mail to: Illinois State Board of Education, Communications Department, 100 N. First St., Springfield, IL 62777. (Share with members, see below.)

Jean Wicks-Evans

Jean Wicks-Evans, UniServ Associate

Minooka IEA Office

106 Ridge Rd, Unit 100

Minooka, IL  60447

800-919-7446

815-255-2534

Fax: 815-828-5759

cid:image003.jpg@01D34018.01F19A40

  

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It’s not to late! Come and experience our Lock Box Challenge!

I’m so excited to be heading to the IEA ESP Lock Box Challenge today, May 4th. The IEA ESP Council is hosting a statewide livestream event. Before the council meeting, ESPs will gather at the Matteson, Palatine, Carterville and Bloomington offices to participate in a statewide challenge hosted by the leadership academy.

The ESP Lock Box Challenge will start at 10 a.m. and end promptly at noon.
PLEASE REGISTER HERE
This is a fun networking event to learn more about the IEA, the ESP Support Council, ESP Connections and the IEA-NEA Emerging Leaders Academy. Join Us! We look forward to including you in our ESP network and resources.

Thank you for all the hard work you do! As fellow ESPs, we’re here for you every step of the way. Your active support is what makes a difference for all of us. We look forward to seeing you at this exciting event! 

If you’re interested in participating and have questions or concerns, please email Crystal Bush, IEA UniServ Director, Palatine office. 

I hope to see you there! Challenge accepted!!

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What You Need to Know: ESP Mentoring ESP in the Workplace

Thursday, May 23, 2019

7:00 PM – 8:00 PM EST

Do you have inadequate opportunities for professional learning and support? Are you working in isolation with little to no feedback or support? Would you or your ESP colleagues benefit from mentoring? Join our webinar and find out ‘what you need to know’ before developing or designing an ESP peer mentoring program.  In this webinar, we will also hear from the Schaumburg Educational Employees Organization (SEEO) about their Partners mentoring program, which has been in existence since 1999 and from the Cedar Rapids Organization of Teacher Associates (CROTA), who are developing a mentoring program for newly hired paraeducators.  Let’s learn more about how ESP can support one another through high-quality mentoring programs to build professional excellence across their entire career continuum and ensure student success.

Presenters:

Kandy Bekeris, President, Cedar Rapids Organization of Teacher Associates (CROTA), Iowa

Tania Johnson, President, Cedar Rapids Education Association (CREA), Iowa

Connie Joniec, New Employees & Partners Chair, Schaumburg Educational Employees Organization (SEEO), Illinois

Grace Hwang, Senior Program Specialist, National Education Association, Education Support Professional Quality

INTENDED AUDIENCE:

NEA affiliate leaders, staff, members and partners. All interested parties are welcome. You are encouraged to forward this invite to your partners, leaders and other team members.

Questions? Contact Jessica Brinkley at jdbrinkley@nea.org.

For more ESP professional development opportunities visit www.nea.org/esppd.

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Livestream ESP Lock Box Challenge May 4

Please join us!
Save the Date:  Saturday, May 4, 10 a.m. – noon
Great news! You’re receiving this message because you are an education support professional (ESP). In case you haven’t heard, we are members of the very first IEA Emerging Leaders Academy: Class of 2019 (Cyclones)! We’re keeping you informed of exciting upcoming events that you can be a part of!

On Saturday, May 4, the IEA ESP Council is hosting a statewide livestream event. Before the council meeting, ESPs will gather at the Matteson, Palatine, Carterville and Bloomington offices to participate in a statewide challenge hosted by the leadership academy.

The ESP Lock Box Challenge will start at 10 a.m. and end promptly at noon.
 PLEASE REGISTER HERE
This is a fun networking event to learn more about the IEA, the ESP Support Council, ESP Connections and the IEA-NEA Emerging Leaders Academy. Join Us! We look forward to including you in our ESP network and resources.
 
Thank you for all the hard work you do! As fellow ESPs, we’re here for you every step of the way. Your active support is what makes a difference for all of us. We look forward to seeing you at this exciting event! 

If you’re interested in participating and have questions or concerns, please email Crystal Bush, IEA UniServ Director, Palatine office. 

Sincerely,

Class of 2019  
IEA-NEA ESP Emerging Leaders


Linda Colon, Amy Lynn Evans, Nikhat Farheen, Oeinna Jackson, Karin Lennon, Lorena Lopez, Leatreasa Lily Madison,Tyler McKinney, Latoya Montgomery, Shazia Pathan, Craig Sigele and Phillip Wallen 
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Great Webinar Opportunity

Center for Great Public Schools Webinar
What You Need to Know: ESP Mentoring ESP in the Workplace

Do you have inadequate opportunities for professional learning and support? Are you working in isolation with little to no feedback or support? Would you or your ESP colleagues benefit from mentoring?

Join our webinar and find out ‘what you need to know’ before developing or designing an ESP peer mentoring program. In this webinar, we will also hear from the Schaumburg Educational Employees Organization (SEEO) about their Partners mentoring program, which has been in existence since 1999 and from the Cedar Rapids Organization of Teacher Associates (CROTA), who are developing a mentoring program for newly hired paraeducators. Let’s learn more about how ESP can support one another through high-quality mentoring programs to build professional excellence across their entire career continuum and ensure student success.

Don’t miss this great opportunity!

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Summer Leadership Academy

Summer Leadership Academy
Summer Leadership Academy

July 22-25, 2019
Illinois State University
Normal, Illinois

Hundreds of Illinois Education Association leaders (elected, appointed, emerging, and aspiring) will gather together this summer for training on leadership skills and abilities that make a difference for our students, our schools, and our communities. In addition, several professional development electives will be available.

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Call To Action!!

Dear Education Support Professional,
 
We need your help to repeal the 3 percent cap on pensionable earnings for TRS and SURS.

Past practice has proven that once legislators change this threshold for TRS and SURS, they do the same for IMRF. So, if we don’t speak out now, our own IMRF contributions also could be capped at the 3 percent limit.
The bill to #repealthe3 has still not been called for a vote. That’s why we need your help now! Please call your lawmaker. Tell them to strongly encourage House leadership to call the bill before lawmakers leave for break on Friday.
Click to call now or call 1-888-412-6570
You can also sign our petition to help #repealthe3. Thank you to those who’ve already signed. So far, we have nearly 50,000 signatures!

We cannot delay any longer – our future depends on it! If we don’t protect our profession, our students will suffer and ultimately public education in this state will lose. We are the largest education organization in the state and when we stand together our voice cannot be ignored. We are always STRONGER when we are UNITED

In solidarity,
Kathi Griffin
President
Illinois Education Association
Take Action
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The Path to Leadership as an ESP

I’ve lost count of how many ESPs have said to me when describing their career as, “I’m just a teachers aid”, or I’m just a bus driver”. This is so far from the truth!! You educate the future!! It’s right in your title you are an Education Support Professional! There are many ESP job categories, all equally as important. Imagine a school day if just one category was taken away. Students, and learning would suffer GREATLY!! You name it, an ESP touches every aspect of a students day. Bus drivers are the first and last person students see, nurses keep them healthy administering medication, cafeteria staff gives our students the nourishment for them to stay focused, security keeps everyone safe, and so so much more. Listen to Saul Ramos NEA ESP of the year 2017 explains his leadership story and experiences as an ESP.

On the #SchoolMe podcast, Saúl Ramos shares his ESP leadership story and experience as a paraeducator.

Take a listen 🎧👇

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You Are Cordially Invited

Bloomington ESP Representative Assembly

WHEN: Saturday, May 4, 2019 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

WHERE: Bloomington IEA Office 304 S. Eldorado Suite 2 Bloomington, IL 61704

WHAT: Meet the IEA ESP Council. Share what’s happening in your school district and local. Learn what the Council offers and how we can assist your members.

RSVP: No later than May 1 to Arlene Criglar at 847.428.7640 or arlene.criglar@ieanea.org or cathy.wyzykowski@ieanea.org

ESP Council
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GREAT OPPORTUNITY-New President Training!

Greetings, NCUEA Local Presidents! The National Council of Urban Education Associations continues its partnership with NEA’s Center for Organizing (C4O) by providing NCUEA members trainings for new local presidents in the 2018-2019 school year. Moreover, NCUEA members are given preferential registration notice before non-NCUEA members to register for these training opportunities.

TRAININGS FOR NEW LOCAL PRESIDENTS

NCUEA continues to recognize the need to support new local presidents with training sessions aligned with NEA’s Leadership Competencies to provide skills and tools needed to achieve the Association’s 2018-2019 priorities. NCUEA and C4O will offer two additional, new local presidents’ trainings in the 2018-2019 school year. Each session is capped at 15 participants and registration is on a first come, first served basis.

ELIGIBLITY: The New Local Presidents Training will be open to NEW local association presidents, within their first 24 months.

FOCUS: The training focuses on Level 1 of the NEA Leadership Competencies, Foundational.

WHEN & WHERE: The training will start at 9:00 AM on Thursday, May 16, 2019, and conclude at noon on Saturday, May 18, 2019. The training sessions will take place in Las Vegas, NV.

LODGING & MEALS: NEA will cover the cost of the hotel (room and tax) and meals (breakfast and lunch) during the training. All other meals are the responsibility of the individual attendees. Participants will receive the hotel information once registration closes. All guests must submit a credit card upon check-in at the hotel to cover any incidental charges.

LOCAL COMMITTMENT: Each participant is responsible for making their own flight and travel arrangements. NEA is not responsiblefor the cost of airfare, taxi, baggage, or other travel expenses.

REGISTRATION: Click here to register for the May 16—18, 2019 training. After the first 15 registrants, we will begin a waiting list. Please contact Sharon Holbrook, sholbrook@nea.org with any questions.

If you cannot attend this training, our next training will be:

August 8—10, 2019Washington DC

Registration opens for NCUEA locals: May 27, 2019

Registration extends to all NEA locals: June 3, 2019

Brent McKim

NCUEA

www.nea.org/ncuea

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Big victory! Senate votes unanimously to create national ESP award

esp award

Thanks to the advocacy of NEA’s members and board of directors, the Senate joined the House in voting to create a national award for ESPs. Support was overwhelming in both chambers: the vote was unanimous in the Senate and 387-19in the House. The measure directs the Secretary of Education to establish the Recognizing Inspiring School Employees (RISE) Award Program for ESPs in pre-K-to grade 12: paraeducators, clerical assistants, bus drivers, custodians, food service workers, security professionals, nurses, and more. In the words of NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia, “This long overdue bill appropriately respects and rightly acknowledges the hard work, dedication, skills and expertise of our ESPs.” The bill creating the national ESP award now goes to the president to be signed into law.

Senate version of Dream and Promise Act introduced

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The Senate version of the Dream and Promise Act (H.R. 6), introduced March 26, consists of two bills. Both provide legal status and a path to citizenship: the Dream Act (S. 874) for people brought to this country as minors and the SECURE Act (S. 879) for people allowed to remain here for humanitarian reasons under the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) programs. The Migration Policy Institute estimates that nearly 40,000 educators could benefit. H.R. 6 has 225 cosponsors, enough to guarantee passage in the House, which is expected sometime after the April recess. Click on the take action button and tell your representatives to support H.R. 6, S. 874, and S. 879.

Tell your representatives to cosponsor and support the IDEA Full Funding Act

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The bipartisan IDEA Full Funding Act, introduced this week in both the Senate and the House, would fulfill the promise Congress made in 1975 when it passed the Individuals with Disabilites in Education Act: to pay 40% of special education costs. Currently, the federal government pays less than 14% of those costs. The IDEA Full Funding Act would increase the federal contribution over a 10-year period until it reaches the 40% level in 2029. Nearly 7 million students receive special education services-13% of all public school students. Click on the take action button and tell your representatives to support the IDEA Full Funding Act.

Cheers and Jeers

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232 members of the House, Democrat and Republican, who voted for the Paycheck Fairness Act.

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Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced the bipartisan Dream Act (S. 874) to provide legal status and a path to citizenship for people brought to this country as minors who know no other country as home.

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Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) introduced the SECURE Act (S. 879) to provide legal status and a path to citizenship for people in the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) programs.

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Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), and Representatives Jared Huffman (D-CA), John Katko (R-NY), David McKinley (R-WV), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Glenn Thompson (R-PA), Joe Neguse (D-CO), Dean Phillips (D-MN), and Kurt Schrader (D-OR) introduced the bipartisan IDEA Full Funding Act.

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Representative Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) introduced the Universal Full-Day Kindergarten Act, the first-ever House bill to take steps toward providing universal access to full-day kindergarten.

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Labor, HHS, Education Appropriations subcommittee chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), full committee chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), and Representatives Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Katherine Clark (D-MA), Lois Frankel (D-FL), Cheri Bustos (D-IL), and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) forcefully challenged Education Secretary Betsy DeVos at a hearing on her budget proposal, that DeLauro called “cruel” and “reckless.”

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NEA ESP Conference 2019

If you get the chance…You have to attend an ESP Conference. Sometimes as ESPs we forget we are professionals, we are important, and we are NECESSARY for the success for EVERY students. When you come together with other ESPs you are reminded that what you do every day matters. You matter!!

If you think you are “just” a para professional, bus driver, lunch lady, or any of the many other essential ESP job categories. Let me remind you, You Matter!! You are a professional!!! It’s right in your job title, Education Support Professional!! You deserve respect for what you do everyday. Everyday you have the opportunity to be a light, make a difference, and change the world one students at a time. WE ARE ESP!!

Thank you!!

Education Support Professionals

Hello Las Vegas and NEA ESP CONFERENCE!

ESPs from around the country are coming together in Las Vegas to attend the NEA ESP Conference. This is a premier conference helping ESPs to develop greater skills in many areas. Just a few topics include sessions that enhance a wide variety of job category skills, ACES: Building Resilient Students, Organizing, and Racial Justice. #WeLoveOurESP

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Count Down to the NEA ESP Conference in Las Vegas!

NEA ESP Conference 2019

March 22-24, 2019

The NEA ESP conference is the premier professional development opportunity for Education Support Professionals across the nation. The goal of the conference is to grow and strengthen the professional excellence of ESP members working in Pre-K to Higher-Ed through Association-convened, educator-led, and student-centered learning experiences. With more than 60 interactive workshops to choose from over the course of four days, participants will enhance their knowledge and skills to build community relationships, organize members, advocate for educators, and sustain stronger local associations, helping members excel in their careers and positively impact student success. 

Who’s attending? What are you looking forward to most?

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Three important notices from your association!

Seeking members to serve on IEA committeesProposed bylaw amendments to be considered at the IEA RAUpdate on the 3 percent repeal effort
Seeking members to serve on IEA committees
It’s that time again to begin the process of appointing committee and task force members for the next year (2019-20). Recommendations are due no later than May 15.

If you are interested in serving on a committee or task force, please review the procedures which will be followed in recommending committee appointments.
Proposed bylaw amendments
Three bylaw amendments have been proposed for consideration at the 2019 IEA Representative Assembly at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, Rosemont on April 11-13, 2019.

These proposals have been timely submitted and have been presented to the IEA Executive Committee pursuant to the IEA Bylaws amendment deadlines. All proposed amendments must be posted on the Association website for at least thirty (30) consecutive days in advance of the RA. In addition, these proposals are emailed to each member who has an email address on record and a notice issued through association social media sites no later than thirty (30) days prior to the RA. These proposals will need approval by a two-thirds vote of RA delegates to be adopted. Additional amendments may be made at the RA at least one business meeting prior to the meeting at which the final vote is taken; however, proposals made in this fashion must be approved by at least three-fourths of the RA delegates in order to be adopted.2018-19 Proposed Bylaw Amendment 12018-19 Proposed Bylaw Amendment 22018-19 Proposed Bylaw Amendment 3The current bylaw language is printed in the left-hand column. The proposed amendments are printed in underlined type in the right-hand column.
Repeal the 3 percent update
More than 40,000 IEA members have signed the petition to repeal the 3 percent TRS/SURS salary limitation! If you haven’t already, sign the petition! Also, we are asking you to send an email to your lawmakers. All you have to do is follow this link, and the tool will walk you through the process. Click the Take Action button and enter your mailing address and your lawmakers’ names will pop up, along with a pre-written email that outlines the issue and why IEA members across the state are finding problems with the 3 percent law.Watch the videoView the toolkit
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NEA ESP of the Year Award

Each year, one Education Support Professional receives the NEA ESP of the Year Award in recognition of their outstanding contribution to their schools, communities, and profession.

The ESP of the Year serves as an ambassador for Education Support Professionals around the country, promoting the value of ESP members at national and state conferences.

While it showcases one outstanding support professional each year, the Award recognizes and honors the contributions to great public schools all Education Support Professionals make year-round.

Tina Pizzitola is our 2019 Illinois ESP representative. ESPs throughout Illinois are very lucky to have you representing us. You represent the very best of our profession.

NEA will present its 28th annual NEA ESP of the Year Award at the 2019 NEA ESP National Conference on Saturday, March 23rd.  Good luck Tina Pizzitola and thank you for all you do for your students and for the betterment of all ESPs.

NEA 2019 ESP of the Year Nominies
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Welcome to our newest ESP Locals!!

Welcome Carbondale Educational Support Professionals Association (Region 2)

Welcome CESPA
Pictured left to right: Secretary Amy Weber, President Tricia Lueker, Vice President Leatreasa Lilly-Madison (all three are building secretaries), Treasurer Donovan Burk and Regional Council Rep Phillip Wallen(both special education aides). Not pictured is instructional aide Joan Rogers, elected RCR alternate. 
The Carbondale Educational Support Professionals Association-IEA/NEA (CESPA) has its first set of local officers! At their maiden general membership meeting Nov.1, members ratified local bylaws and then elected CESPA’s Executive Committee. CESPA is the newest affiliate of Region 2, served out of the IEA Carterville Office. They will partner with the longstanding Carbondale Education Association which represents teachers and other certified employees of Carbondale Elementary District #95. The ESP local representing nearly 100 aides, paraprofessionals,  secretaries, cooks and maintenance staff organized last spring with overwheling support.Submitted by IEA Organizer Dave Vitoff
Edwardsville
Welcome Johnsburg Support Staff Organization (Region 23)
Welcome JSSO
Members of JSSO met at Ringwood Elementary School in Ringwood on Dec. 11 to vote in their very first election. After a whirlwind three-month campaign, 48 paraprofessionals and teachers’ aides formed a new ESP local and they are already preparing to enter bargaining. Congratulations, JSSO!
(Pictured L to R): Jennifer Schmitt, association representative;Kathleen Zakrocky, regional council representative; Julie Young, treasurer; Laurie Stade, president;Dawn Becker, association representative; Kelly Berwick, vice president; Mary Kay Martino, secretary; and Suzy Martin, association representative.
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IEA ESP Council Member Visits Region Meeting

Illinois Senator Mike Hastings

I had the privilege to attend Region 51’s monthly meeting, which was held at the IEA office in Minooka, Illinois, this past Thursday Feb. 28th. Illinois Senator Michael Hastings was the honored speaker for the evening. Many topics were discussed but the 3% cap was the hot topic of the evening and how it is effecting many districts during the already stressful time of bargaining.

How does 3% effect ESPs if it pertains to certified staff retirement compensation?

Past practices have shown that ESP IMRF contribution rules usually follow TRS contribution rules. So if we don’t speak out now our own IMRF contributions could soon be capped at the 3% limit also.

Illinois has many districts that are “wall to wall.” Wall to wall contracts cover ESPs and certified staff under one contract. This usually means that all members under the contract get the same raise. The 3% cap is effecting ESPs who are already suffering from low wages making it much more difficult to get the raises they need and deserve.

Contact your local legislator: http://www.capwiz.com/nea/il/home/

A special thank you to Region Chair Dennis Grosskopf, Vice-Chair Beth Duesing, and Region GPA Kristin McGuire

I wanted to also thank Dennis Grosskopf for allowing me speak and hand out IEA ESP Council information at the meeting. We are ESP! StrongerUnited!

Jill Scarcelli-IEA ESP Council Member