Message From Lily

NEA Home
Hi ,

I saw a study that found educators spend $479 on average out of their own pockets each year to buy supplies for their students and classrooms—and that’s in addition to everything parents spend, too!

That number seems a bit low to me. I know some educators who spend close to $1,000 each year on things like pencils, tissues, and even food for their students.

Share your story about having to fund your classroom or school and show us the receipts or photos of your haul.

Share how much you spend >
We’d never expect a surgeon to buy a scalpel or syringe, so why do we expect underpaid educators to compensate for underfunded schools?

Teachers should be focused on planning lessons for students, not planning how to pay for school supplies.

Share your story and photos of how much you spend on classroom supplies. Use #OutOfMyPocket on social media.

Last spring, educators and parents stepped up for public schools in a big way. But, the #RedForEd movement is not over. We’ll continue doing what it takes to make sure students have the resources—including the pencils, tissues, and food—that they need to learn.

In solidarity,

Lily Eskelsen García
National Education Association

P.S. Don’t forget to wear #RedforEd on Wednesdays to stand up for educators and students who deserve more from their schools!


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Aug. 21, 2018

Welcome back to school! A message from IEA President Kathi Griffin

ESP Council news
ESP Council and assembly meetings

We want to hear from you! The ESP Council is holding ESP assemblies across the state this year to hear the concerns of education support professionals – bus drivers, secretaries, parapros, aides, cafeteria workers, janitors and other support staff – in conjunction with the council’s regularly scheduled meetings. Please plan to attend and learn what the council can do to support you in your work as an education support professional!
All assemblies begin at 9 a.m. and end no later than 11 a.m. Each will be followed by a council meeting from noon – 3 p.m. Please plan to attend an ESP assembly at a location near you. On all dates, council members will be at the Naperville IEA office, 1555 Bond St.

Council meetings are open to all ESP members. For more information and to RSVP, please email Arlene Criglar.

ESP Council welcomes four new members!

During the 2018 IEA spring elections, four ESP members were elected for the first time to serve on the ESP Council. The Education Support Professional Council consists of 13 people, all of whom are school employees and ESP members of the Illinois Education Association.

Officially taking office on July 15:

Gloria Johnson, Region 48 south/central sectional rep, Mt. Vernon
Jenn Lattimore, Region 57, Villa Park
Robert Powell, Region 56, Dolton
Cheryl Jones, Region 27, Harvey
To contact a member of the ESP Council, view the council roster.

Council seeks candidate from the south/central area to fill seat vacancy

If you are interested in serving as the south/central sectional rep alternate, please contact your region chair or email ESP Council Chair Alex Wallace.

Eligibility: You must be a member from one of the south/central IEA Regions (1-14, 45, 47, 48 and 62). A candidate will be elected by the region chairs from these respective regions at the next IEA Board of Directors meeting in September.

Upcoming conferences

Registration open for the IEA One Conference
Oct. 12-13 in Oak Brook

The One Conference provides professional development and leadership training specifically for education support professionals (ESPs), higher education and retired members.

Save the date! Nov. 9-11

A series of workshops geared to helping you understand IEA structure, the resources at your disposal and the skills you need to increase association involvement.​ Learn more.

BEWARE of anti-union message sent to your school email

We have been notified by the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) that the Mackinac Center has sent another round of My Pay My Say emails encouraging MTA members to drop their union memberships. We fully expect IEA members will also be receiving a similar anti-union email at your school email addresses.

The emails will come from My Pay My Say and the Mackinac Center, which is financially supported by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. It’s main interest is in weakening unions and boosting corporate wealth. To find out more about its efforts visit

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