Education Support Staff

Education support staff keep schools running, students safe and classrooms ready to learn. They cultivate a positive school climate, and provide resources that help kids grow.

Participants authorized for educational support services must have an employment goal documented in their service plan. These goals may include tutoring or formal classes to obtain a Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC) diploma, vocational training or an apprenticeship program.

Education Support Professionals (ESPs) are a key part of Missouri’s education team.

Education support professionals keep schools running smoothly and students safe, healthy and ready to learn. They include paraeducators, food service workers, administrative assistants, secretaries, custodians, and bus drivers. They are essential to a quality education and help teachers focus on teaching.

In addition to keeping our schools running, they help students and their families get the assistance they need to succeed. ESPs provide tutoring sessions, supplemental courses and vacation-break learning programs. They also work as mentors to students who need extra attention or help mastering a subject.

They live in the school districts where they work and many volunteer in their communities. They care deeply about the children they serve. In this time of budget cuts and outsourcing, ESPs are fighting to make sure their jobs are protected. The bipartisan ESP and School Support Staff Family Leave Act would expand FMLA eligibility for the ESP workforce, providing them with the same protections as airline flight crew members and other professional workers.

Education Support Professionals (ESPs) make a positive impact on the lives of students.

One out of every three public school employees are Education Support Professionals. They play a critical role in keeping schools running smoothly and providing students with a safe environment that promotes learning and growth.

ESPs in each career family have unique skills and responsibilities, but they all share the same commitment to quality public education. They deserve to be treated with respect and paid a decent wage.

Paraeducators (paraprofessionals) assist classroom teachers with student instruction and work closely with students on their social emotional well-being, preparing them for the transition to college and careers. Food Service ESPs provide healthy meals that affect students’ energy, thinking, health and overall wellbeing.

Each year NEA and NEA Member Benefits recognize an ESP who best exemplifies the spirit and tenacity of Jo Campbell with the ESP of the Year award. This year, NEA-NH’s Sue-Ellen Quinn was nominated. Learn more about her story and the other nominees here. ESPs are dedicated to helping kids succeed in the classroom and beyond. They deserve decent wages and respect for their invaluable contributions to our community.

Education Support Professionals (ESPs) are a key part of Nevada’s education team.

Education Support Professionals (ESP) like secretaries, paraprofessionals, food service workers and bus drivers are an integral part of Nevada’s school system. They keep students safe, provide extra help and attention to students who need it, make sure schools run smoothly, and perform countless other jobs that keep our public schools functioning. It’s hard to imagine schools running for a single day without them.

ESPs are committed to creating strong relationships with the students they serve. Quinn takes time to learn students’ names and correctly pronounce them when she greets them in the morning, which is just one of many ways that she builds trust and makes each student feel seen.

NJEA is proud to fight for the jobs, pay and benefits of ESPs. We work tirelessly to protect our members’ rights at the local, state and national levels, including organizing new ESPs, protecting their contracts, and advocating for quality jobs and healthy, safe school environments.

Education Support Professionals (ESPs) are a key part of Oregon’s education team.

Education Support Professionals (ESPs) work together with teachers to perform a variety of jobs promoting quality education, fostering positive learning environments, offering nutritious meals, providing safe and reliable transportation, maintaining safe and clean schools and much more. These individuals are paraeducators, secretaries/clerical, food service workers, custodial and maintenance staff members.

ESPs have little on-the-job training, but their previous experience and education prepare them for the demands of their profession. They are a vital part of the school community and deserve our appreciation.

Nominations are open now through February 21, 2024, for the Oregon ESP of the Year. Nominate an ESP who you believe is making a big difference in the lives of students. The winner will be surprised with a special gift award and recognition for their efforts at an awards ceremony hosted by the Department of Education and Oregon Lottery. Nominations are free and open to all public ESPs working in Oregon K-12 schools or district offices.

Education Support Staff
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