Education Support Professionals
The front line of public education begins with that first school bus ride in the morning, and ends when the custodian turns off the lights at night. As educators, we know the crucial role played by the thousands of paraprofessionals, office workers, bus drivers, custodians and maintenance staff in our schools. All told, Education Support Professionals (ESP) make up 40 percent of the total K-12 workplace. In fact, it would be difficult to imagine a school going for one day without ESPs.
When we talk about strengthening our schools, we need to strengthen everyone who works within them. Along with recruiting and retaining quality teachers, we must recruit and retain quality education support professionals. To do that, it certainly means providing decent wages and benefits to the people who spend their days making sure our students are safe, well fed and learning.
In addition to providing representation, advocacy, resources and training for the growing number of ESP members, CTA has established CTA ESP Day on the third full Tuesday in May during Education Support Professionals Week to honor these vital school employees. Each year, CTA also honors one of its own with the CTA ESP of the Year Award.
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