Education support refers to a variety of programs, services and/or accommodations that help students feel included in their educational environments. This includes helping them engage with different teaching methods and materials.
Education support is nontaxable under Section 132 if it meets certain requirements. This is because it’s considered a working condition fringe benefit.
Education Support Workers
Education support professionals are the backbone of school systems. They are paraeducators, secretaries, clerical assistants, food and service workers, custodial staff and bus drivers, and other non-teaching school employees who contribute to student success.
Mum loved her work and the way she was able to make a difference in students’ lives. She would come home some days ecstatic that one of her students had successfully played socially at recess without getting distressed. Others, like those during Covid-19, were difficult as she juggled staff shortages and students’ needs.
In many states, education support workers don’t earn a living wage. Zippia looked at salary and cost of living data to find the best schools for education support professionals. Click here to see the list.
Education Support Professionals
Education support helps individuals build a platform to explore their potential and self-esteem. This kind of support allows people to have access to the knowledge needed to make informed choices and achieve success.
School communities are made up of more than just classroom teachers and principals. Behind the scenes, in noisy buses, bright hallways, and bustling cafeterias, are paraeducators, secretaries, custodial staff, food service workers, and bus drivers, who work to help students thrive. Education support professionals (ESPs) are the backbone of every school.
ESP Day was created to honor the work of public school support employees and highlight their essential contributions to public education. ESPs are not only committed to their jobs but to the community and country they serve. They deserve to be recognized for their dedication and hard work. You can help by requesting a proclamation from your elected officials. ESPs are making a difference in the lives of children and their families.
Educational Support Systems
As school systems continue to navigate a myriad of challenges—including the COVID-19 pandemic, systemic racial injustice, and the enduring effects of poverty—orchestration of integrated supports that meet young people where they are in their lives is critical. Ideally, these structures are designed to be culturally competent and thoughtfully integrated with local resources. They are also intended to be assets-based and to support student agency and equity of opportunity.
Supports can take many forms. They may involve specialized instruction or individualized assistance for students with disabilities or who need academic supports in general. They can also include social-emotional supports and positive behavioral interventions.
They may also be part of an integrated framework such as a multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) that utilizes a proactive and preventative approach to support student achievement. The guiding principles of this system are high-quality instruction, a responsive and data-driven response to support needs, and a focus on building student agency. This framework can help mitigate barriers, enhance coping and resilience, re-engage disconnected students and families, and reduce the opportunity gap.
MSEA is the Maryland affiliate of the National Education Association, representing 75,000 educators. Its members are classroom teachers, education support professionals, certificated specialists, school administrators and retired educators. The union has a strong presence in Maryland politics and is one of the largest in the country.
MSEA members have a long tradition of effective activism at the local, state and national levels. The union’s advocacy mission was strengthened when it merged with MSTA to form the Maryland State Teachers Association.
A portion of your MSEA and NEA dues supports a variety of top-quality member benefit programs. The NEA Home Mortgage Program, for example, lets you lock in low rates before they rise and provides a free home equity line of credit. Another is the NEA Travel Savings Program, which offers savings and benefits on airfare, hotels, rental cars and more. To learn more, visit the NEA website. NEA Member Benefits also provides financial services including health insurance, retirement planning and tax assistance.