ESP Insider News

Statewide spring elections

Looking for a way to have a voice in your statewide union and the decisions made by the union in regard to school support personnel? Here’s your opportunity. It’s election season.

Positions up for election:

  • NEA-RA state, retired and student delegates
State level positions up for election:
  • ESP council
  • Higher ed council
  • Retired council
  • Sectional representatives and alternates for ESP, higher ed and ethnic minority
ESP council vacancies: 
  • Council members-at-large (4)
  • ESP south central sectional representative
  • ESP south central sectional alternate
    • (All IEA-NEA members in regions 1-14, 45, 47, 48 and 62 are eligible to participate in this election)
  • ESP north central sectional alternate
    • ​(All IEA-NEA members in regions 15-25, 37, 38, 40, 44, 49, 51, 53, 54, 60, 61, 63, 65 and 66 are eligible to participate in this election)

Please note: Nomination deadline is Feb. 21Click here for the online nomination form.

Online voting for all positions begins Mar. 29.

Join fellow school support personnel on Feb. 24 in Chicago


IEA strongly encourages all members to attend the Working People’s Day of Action Rally! Working people from across the state of Illinois are coming together to stand up for our rights and freedom to organize and participate in our unions. There will be buses for people to travel together. Learn more about the rally and how to reserve your bus seat.

Driver put on leave after student brings fake grenade on bus
If you’ve ever wondered what your union can do for you, take a look at this story. A bus driver is punished after a student brings a grenade on board. You won’t believe what happens next.

You can show your support for fellow ESP member Kevin Garfinkle in Antioch D34! Share the post on IEA’s Facebook page and read what others are saying.

Read the story from NBC Chicago.

Register now for an important ESP webinar!


Education Support Professionals: Meeting the needs of the whole student
Thurs., Feb. 15, 6-7 p.m. Information and registration.

ESP STAR award

Presidents and members of the IEA Board of Directors can nominate ESPs for STARS in recognition of outstanding serviceNominations can be made online and videos can be attached. You may contact IEA Connect to indicate the reasons the local association president or member of the IEA Board of Directors has nominated the member for an ESP STAR.
ESP Council assembly meeting – Mar. 3

Help us get to know more of our ESPs! Four sites to choose from: Elgin, Naperville, Palatine and Rockford.

RSVP by Feb. 26View the flier.

Cary ESPA silent rally

Cary Education Support Personnel Association (CESPA) held a silent rally on Jan. 18 and then, with signs held high, packed the Cary Board of Education monthly meeting to show solidarity. Read more and view photos from the rally.

ESP members participated in the Women’s March on Jan. 20

View photos from the Rockford and Southern Illinois marches.

Des Plaines ESP meeting

Alex Wallace, ESP council chair and Eric Brown, NEA Executive Committee member, met with approximately 45 members of the Des Plaines Education Support Personnel Association (DPESPA). Information was shared about the benefits of belonging to the union, IEA and NEA resources available on professional growth for ESP members and the pending Supreme Court decision on the Janus vs. AFSCME case.

Pictured with Eric Brown (front left) and Alex Wallace (center) are local President Becky Mazurek, Vice President Maria Pat Hanley and some of the DPESPA members.
Upcoming conferences and events

Working People’s Day of Action Rally

  Feb. 24, Chicago
  Information and bus sign up

Leadership Development Summit

  Mar. 16-18, Chicago
  10-digit NEA membership ID number required for registration
  Contact IEA Connect if you need your ID number looked up
  There will be no onsite registration
  Information and registration

NEA ESP National Conference

  Mar. 23-25, Buena Vista, Fla.
  Online registration closes TOMORROW, Feb. 9
  Information and registration


IEA Representative Assembly
  Apr. 19-21, Rosemont
National Resource Center for Paraeducators (NRCP) 34th National Conference on the Training and Employment of Paraeducators
  Apr. 26-29, Seattle
  Online registration closes TOMORROW, Feb. 9
  Information and registration

NEA GLBT Caucus – LGBTQ+ Issues

  May 18-20, Las Vegas


ESP in Action booklet: A must-have for all Education Support Professionals!

The new ESP in Action booklet is filled with information on upcoming ESP events, volunteer opportunities, professional development, resources and much more! Don’t be without this handy, compact 10-page booklet. You can view it online or request a hard copy from the ESP program office by contacting Arlene Criglar.

Also available in Spanish: ESP en Acción

Don’t delay – request yours today!


Benefits of

IEA membership


  • Go to the Discounts drop-down menu at the top of the page
  • Click on NEA Member Benefits​​​
ESP resources
Get all your IEA questions answered in one spot.

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