NEA RESOLUTION D-15
The NEA believes that professional development should be required throughout the career of educational support professionals. Professional development programs should provide equal opportunities for these employees to gain and improve the knowledge and skills important to their position and job performance. Professional development programs should assume that appropriate education employees have a decisive voice at every stage of planning, implementation, and evaluation.
Public education today is in the midst of profound change, and Education Support Professionals are in the forefront of that change – with new roles, new responsibilities and new expectations. ESP account for more than 40% of today’s public education workforce. The key to public school quality is to recognize and engage the diverse range of skills, talents, and creativity of Educational Support Professionals.
Support Professionals provide the vital infrastructure within each of our public schools. Yet while these professionals bear a tremendous responsibility for the safety, well-being and education of our students, they too often must make do with inadequate, piecemeal training and professional development.
But despite their power in numbers and the fact that schools clearly couldn’t operate without them, support professionals are often thwarted from turning their jobs into careers or gaining promotion opportunities, because of a lack of professional development and advanced training.
NEA provides a foundation to help ESP members across the country organize around professional development. It gives real examples of how members have created and implemented ideas to advance their professions, improve their working conditions and contribute to student achievement. The National Education Association has produced an excellent Resource Publication titled: An Action Guide To Help You In Your Professional Development.