Letter From Lily

NEA Home
Dear Member,

Educators don’t enter the profession expecting to get rich. They do it because they love teaching and because they have an unwavering belief in their students.

But, they should also be able to support themselves. The sad truth is that many educators aren’t earning enough to make ends meet.

Today, we’re releasing our annual data on educator pay. Click here to find out how your state ranks in educator pay and per pupil spending.

How does
                                                          your state
                                                          rank? Click to
                                                          find out.

Educator Pay in Your State >
Each year, NEA publishes data on educator salaries. We collect statistics from state departments of education and 11,675 school districts, which account for 94 percent of all full-time educators.

The data show in black and white (or, in this case, red and white) the dollar value each state places on its educators.

To make matters worse, the pay gap between educators and other professionals is vast and growing, forcing many out of the profession and creating a teacher shortage crisis that threatens our students and communities.

See how much educators make on average in your state and join the movement fighting for better resources for public school educators and students.

How much we pay educators is just one indicator of the value our society places on education. As part of the Red For Ed movement, educators across the country are joining hands with parents and community members to fight for the resources public school students need to succeed like a nurse, counselor, and librarian in every school; a living wage for education support professionals; and more class time for learning.

Equipped with data like average educator pay and the teacher pay gap, we are able to better make the case that we can do better. After all, our children are worth it.


Lily Eskelsen Garcia
National Education Association


ESP Insider

| April 30, 2019 Edition
Congratulations ESP STAR award recipients!
Carrie Bonine – ESP STAR!
U-46 DUSA, Region 63
Larkin High School

Carrie was able to prove that the work she was doing as a secretary warranted an increase in classification within our local. When she was able to show her work was high-quality and required advanced critical thinking skills, our district agreed to move everyone with the same title up a level, ultimately benefiting dozens of members and countless students and staff.

Also, Carrie finds time to be a speech coach and take her students to state competitions! Without her coaching, the school would not have been able to field a speech team.

Carrie is active in her local and serves as a building representative. She is a member of the events committee, mentoring committee, PD committee, negotiations committee and is a region representative.

As a leader for the events committee, Carrie has recruited members to events and meetings that have not had a lot of active participation in years. Her ability to reach so many people has helped us grow stronger! Congratulations, Carrie, and thank you for all you do!

Debbie Ciciora – ESP STAR!
Teaching assistant
Local 218, Region 28
Dwight D. Eisenhower High School
Debbie has been involved as a union representative for 17 years and a region representative for four years. She takes advantage of opportunities and attends conferences, conventions and trainings such as the IEA Representative Assembly, the NEA Representative Assembly and the National Education Support Personnel Conference. She consistently takes on extra responsibilities to make our local association even better! She serves on the local 218 executive board, is a part of the negotiating team and a member of the scholarship committee.

Debbie takes an active role in the classroom every day. She works closely with a literacy teacher to provide small group reading instruction to students. She works three periods a day in a self-contained biology classroom where she initiates tasks to help the classroom run smoothly. She enthusiastically learns new technology and constantly offers suggestions about how to improve classroom management and academic success for students. Debbie has really helped struggling students to succeed on assessments by reviewing with students and rephrasing questions to help clarify the meaning to help students make connections between class experiences and the formal assessments.

Debbie helped start up and run “The Closet,” an amazing program at Eisenhower High School. The program allows students access to hygiene products, school supplies, clothing, coats and other winter weather gear. Every week, she spends time organizing items, processing donations and responding to student requests for items. Her care for these students and her willingness to make a difference by meeting their basic needs is admirable. Debbie’s drive to increase the success of the program is evident. She is having conversations with colleagues and school administrators in order to extend the program’s offerings by adding an additional donation and distribution system she hopes to call “The Pantry.” This would allow students and staff to donate non-perishable food items that could be accessed by students who need additional groceries for their homes. She is truly an example of what an ESP should aspire to be. Congratulations, Debbie!

Use the online nomination form to nominate a special ESP member for a STAR award!
IEA ESP of the Year
Julie Spaargaren was selected as IEA’s Education Support Professional of the Year. The award recognizes outstanding accomplishments of an ESP in the area of involvement in their local, state or national association, achievement in his/her professional classification, promoting public education in the community and enhancement of the image of education support professionals in the association, worksite and community.

Julie is a paraeducator for special needs students at School District 201 in Westmont, IL. She has worked in the district for 16 years and is a member of Westmont Educational Support Personnel Association (WESPA), Region 57. Congratulations, Julie!

IEA Reg Weaver Human and Civil Rights Award
Mary Ann Rivera, paraeducator from Lyons Township High School, received the Reg Weaver Human and Civil Rights Award at the IEA Representative Assembly on April 11.

Mary Ann is co-president of LTPA, IEA ESP Council member, ethnic minority representative, NEA ESP Director-at-Large and midwest director of NCESP. Congratulations, Mary Ann!

Pictured left to right: IEA Vice President Al Llorens, IEA President Kathi Griffin and Adrianna Caballero (35), HCR Committee chair.

NEA ESP of the Year
2019 ESP of the Year Matthew Powell does it all

Read about Matthew in NEAToday.

Pictured with Matthew left to right: NEA Secretary-Treasurer Princess Moss, NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia and NEA Vice President Becky Pringle.

May 4 ??? ESP Assembly and Council meeting
Join us Saturday for the next council meeting in the IEA Bloomington office, 304 S. Eldorado St., Suite 2.

RSVP to Arlene Criglar.

A livestream event is planned before the council meeting from 10 a.m. to noon. ESPs from across the state will gather at the IEA offices in Palatine, Matteson, Carterville and Lombard to participate in a statewide digital lock box challenge hosted by the IEA ESP Leadership Academy. All ESP members are invited to attend and participate. Download a flier for more information and the registration link or simply register here.

Interested in hosting an ESP assembly? Contact Alex Wallace for details.

Stay connected with other ESPs:

News from higher ed ESPs
SIUE’s Sandra Goodwin is the Illinois Head Start Teacher of the Year

It wasn’t her first career choice, but Sandra Goodwin’s response to a need and her desire to educate and empower othershas earned the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Head Start/Early Head Start teacher high marks and the 2019 Illinois Head Start Teacher of the Year award. Congratulations, Sandra!

Historic SIUE IEA local celebrates 30-year anniversary

SIUE PSA President Kimberly McClellan (front row, second from right) spearheaded and emceed the event. Kimberly is a member of the IEA ESP Council and serves as ethnic minority representative.

You can view photos, artifacts and read a detailed history of this pioneer IEA local in a 12-page booklet compiled by IEA Organizer David Vitoff.

$2,500 education scholarship winner announced
Congratulations to Olivia Howard, this year’s winner of the $2,500 Burroughs Education Scholarship!

This scholarship recognizes the dedication and hard work of school employees, including Olivia’s mother, stepmother and father.

ESPs getting involved
Supplies for Puerto Rico school children
Mary Ann Rivera will be making a second trip to Puerto Rico to deliver school supplies to children who were greatly impacted by Hurricane Maria last year. She is currently collecting school supplies and monetary donations for shipping the boxes of supplies. If you are interested and would like to donate, please email Mary Ann.

Mary Ann is a paraeducator at Lyons Township High School – District 204 in Region 59.

Seeking interested members for 2019-20 IEA Committees

Big victory!! Congress votes unanimously to create national ESP award

Have you taken the member interest survey?
If not, please take it so we know your interests and the issues important to you.
  1. Log in to Members Only.
  2. Navigate to My Dashboard.
  3. Choose Member Interest/Issue Survey (top right purple box)
Highlights from ESP events
IEA Representative Assembly
In addition to their delegate responsibilities, members of the ESP Council were busy at this year’s IEA RA. Preparations began Wednesday evening, Apr. 10, setting up the ESP resource room, Thursday morning hosting the ESP open hearing and later the ESP delegate reception. Photos of the RA can be viewed on IEA’s Flickr site.
NEA ESP mentoring training
Carrie Bonine, along with a few members of the School District U-46 secretarial association, traveled to the NEA offices in Washington D.C. in mid-December to attended the 2018 ESP mentoring training. Don’t miss an upcoming webinar on May 23: ESP mentoring in the workplace

Union Strong Boot Camp
A 12-week program designed for ESPs to strengthen their locals and learn organizing skills to help increase membership.
Member benefits
Log in to Members Only and access your discounts and deals today!

If you don’t have it yet, download the MyDeals mobile app!
Upcoming ESP events
Jun. 7-9: NEA Joint Ethnic Conference
St. Louis

July 1-2: NEA Conference on Racial and Social Justice

Jul. 22-26: Summer Leadership Academy (SLA)
Illinois State University, Normal

Oct. 4-5: IEA One Conference
Oak Brook

Tell us your story!
When you organize or participate in an event involving ESPs or hear of such an event, please send us the: Who, What, When, Where, Why and a photo to Arlene Criglar or use the online report form.

Stories are due May 15 for the May ESP insider.

New Contract Approved!!

The Board of Education unanimously approved the agreement with PASS last nite at the board meeting!! Both parties signed off on the new CBA which takes effect on July 1st, 2019. More details to follow when contracts get printed.

Letter from NEA President Lilly

NEA Home

NEA members will be hugely important in deciding the next president. Do you know how I know? In the last presidential election, one in every 39 votes cast was made by an NEA member or family member.

And since that election, we have come together like never before to fight for our students, higher wages, more resources, and better funding.

The 2020 election may seem far away, but right now the presidential candidates are defining their priorities and we have a unique opportunity to make public education a top-tier issue.

Today, I’m so proud to launch NEA’s new election site, StrongPublicSchools.org. It’s designed keep you informed and empowered to support candidates that share your values. Check it out. »

Click to
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StrongPublicSchools.org »
With constant attacks on public education from an unqualified education secretary, billionaires, and special interests, we must continue to come together and make our voices heard. We must make sure that all students, regardless of where they live, have the support, tools, and time to learn. After all, a quality public education is the foundation of a thriving, equitable society.

I hope you’ll take the time to visit StrongPublicSchools.org and find out how you can get involved.

Go! Fight! Win!

Lily Eskelsen García
National Education Association

neaToday Express

We Love Our ESP

Finally! Congress Sees You, ESP

Thanks to efforts by NEA educators, Congress recognizes education support professionals with a national award.

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Works4Me: Ideas and Tips By Teachers, For Teachers

Get Creative for National Poetry Month

How do you make your school great? Let us know—in 17 syllables. That’s right, we’re inviting you to join our Facebook thread to compose and share your best haiku about being an educator. Get started.