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 🎧👇


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

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.


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




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

american dream and promise
take action

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

take action

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


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.”