From instructional assistants to cafeteria workers to custodians, bus drivers, secretaries, and more, MSEA has a proven track record of helping you win decent wages, better working conditions, and more respect for the important role you play every day at your school or worksite.

Education support professionals (ESP) are the backbone of every public school in the state. Their dedication to the total student learning experience is seen every day in noisy buses, bright hallways, busy classrooms, welcoming school offices, and bustling cafeterias. 

Our education support members include paraeducators, administrative assistants, custodians, bus drivers, security and technology staff, food service workers, and other school employees vital to student and school success.

Nationally, support professionals make up more than 40 percent of the total K-12 education workforce and more than 80 percent live in the same school districts where they work. In Maryland and across the nation, ESPs are a critically important part of the school community.

Education support professionals take care of our children every day and make sure they have the tools they need to succeed in our schools and classrooms.

Fighting for Improved Pay

During the 2022 General Assembly session, MSEA fought for Senate Bill 831, sponsored by Senator Craig Zucker (D-Montgomery) and House Bill 1349, sponsored by Delegate Shaneka Henson (D-Anne Arundel), legislation to recognize the work of ESPs with well-earned bonuses. MSEA sees this legislation as the next step, but far from the last step, in improving salaries for ESP. MSEA made this legislation a priority to address the crisis in ESP recruitment and retention. ESPs are essential to the daily functioning of our schools, whether they are driving buses, preparing and serving meals, assisting in the classroom, maintaining buildings and technology, keeping records and implementing protocols, or any of the many other critical roles they fill.

The final version of the bill, which passed with bipartisan support, will give ESPs a $500 bonus in FY24, as was originally intended for both FY23 and FY24. The FY23 bonuses became restricted by the approved budget, which included just over $8 million for ESP bonuses. That is likely to cut the FY23 bonus to half of what MSEA and the bill were originally seeking. Nevertheless, the bill lays the groundwork to improve ESP wages, and MSEA will keep up the fight for long-term ESP wage improvements at the local level through the collective bargaining process. Click here to learn more.

ESP of the Year Award

The MSEA Education Support Professional (ESP) of the Year Award recognizes the contributions of Education Support Professionals (ESPs) to their schools, communities, and their profession. The award is presented to a member of MSEA who demonstrates outstanding accomplishments and reflects the contributions of ESPs to public education.

Nominations may be submitted by any student, parent, teacher, administrator, citizen, or school organization or by a fellow education support professional. The nominator must describe the nature of the achievement of the nominee citing the stated criteria. All nomination forms must be signed by the local president.

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