Education Support Professionals


    Raising Education Support Professionals by Elevating Careers Together is a statewide effort by ESPs, with the support of IEA staff, to improve working conditions.

ESP Resources

  • About ESPs

    The 510,000 Educational Support Professional members of the National Education Association and the 29,500 ESP members of the Illinois Education Association take care of our children every day and make sure they have the tools they need to succeed in our schools and classrooms. We are truly the unsung heroes of public education.

  • ESP of the Year Award

    This award is meant to emphasize the contributions of education support professionals to their association, their schools and their communities.

  • ESP STARS Award

    The ESP Council created the ESP STAR program to allow IEA local leaders, members and board of directors to recognize and publicize the good work of their ESP members across the state. Use the online nomination form to nominate one or more special ESPs. Nominations can be submitted monthly.

  • NEA ESP of the Year Speaker Request Form

    Request the NEA ESP of the Year to speak at your event.

  • ESP Bargaining Resources

    ESP Bargaining Resources consolidates resources related to bargaining for use by ESP Leaders.

  • Insider Newsletter Archive

    Education Support Professionals archive of the monthly email newsletter.

  • NEA ESP Website

    NEA’s 510,000 Education Support Professional (ESP) members take care of our children every day and make sure they have the tools they need to succeed in our schools and classrooms.

  • NEA ESP Publications

    The NEA ESP Quality Department offers a variety of publications designed to support and elevate the careers of Education Support Professionals in all career categories.

  • NEA ESP Organizing Toolkit

    Ultimately we seek to build power to make change. In this toolkit, we will cover the critical elements of organizing.

  • Privatization/Subcontracting and The Law

    In 2007, the Illinois Education Association achieved a major victory in providing job protection for all ESP employees. Read the exact text of Public Act 095-0241 introduced as House Bill 1347.

ESP Council

  • ESP Council Website

    Website for the Education Support Professional Council. Visit for the latest information and updates.

  • ESP Council List

    The Education Support Professional Council consists of thirteen (13) people all of whom are ESP school employees and members of the Illinois Education Association.

  • Request ESP Council Members to Attend Meeting Form

    Bring ESP Council members to your next meeting.  Presidents, Region Chairs, and members can now invite members of the ESP Council to your local or regional meetings by using this request form.

Professional Growth and Mentoring

  • 321 Insight

    ParaSharp online professional development builds confidence, improves effectiveness, and increases job satisfaction. With easy-to-use videos, interactive discussions, planning and tracking tools and more, this program helps paraeducators feel supported and skilled. Instructions | Flier

  • Education Support Professionals Spring 2023 Skills Training Series

    The Education Support Professional skills training workshops are targeted one-hour conversations designed to help ESPs develop specific union and/or job-related skills; in order to facilitate conversations and create a unique personalized experience, each session is limited to a maximum of ten participants.  Each conversation will be held on ZOOM.   All ESP members are encouraged and invited to participate.

  • ESP Professional Growth Continuum

    The ESP Professional Growth Continuum (PGC) is a first-of-its-kind framework to help education support professionals (ESPs) raise their professional standing at every stage of their career.

  • ESP Mentoring

    Learn the difference between Peer Mentoring and Peer Review and is your Local Association ready for this concept.

  • ESP Peer Mentoring Courses

    Through peer mentoring, ESPs can receive the specialized, targeted workplace preparation and support that empower ESPs in the workplace, advance their professional excellence, and build the education systems that all our students and members deserve.

  • ESP Professional Growth

    To ensure a great public education for every student, education support professionals (ESPs) want and deserve high-quality professional development and supports at every stage of their careers.

  • Professional Development Webinar Trainings - Upcoming

    A wide variety professional development webinar series designed to support the professional growth of Education Support Professionals.

  • Professional Development Webinar Trainings - Archive

    Did you miss one of the live webinar sessions?  View the past webinars here! A wide variety professional development webinar series designed to support the professional growth of Education Support Professionals.

  • Learning Portal

    The IEA strives to offer you free, high-quality online professional development that fits your needs and is available on-demand to fit your changing schedule.

Contact Us

Arlene Criglar
ESP Program Paraprofessional

Contact the ESP Program

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