Episode for May 16, 2024

1104 Maryland Education Support Professionals / Everyday Heroes

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On today’s show I have a great news recap and at 36 minutes I get to speak with my friend Sean Mckillop and 5 amazing Education Support Professionals from the Maryland State Education Association 

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.


With continuing staff shortages, escalating student behavioral challenges, increasing respon­sibilities, a continuing lack of respect, and the rising costs of healthcare benefits, ESPs are being asked to do more—too often without the resources they need and the compensation they deserve. These are workload, morale, and stress issues that cause burnout and resignations.

Some school board members and community and state officials have refused time and again to rec­ognize support staff and their con­tributions or to provide adequate, living wages. While the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future provides funding to add staff in some ESP positions, there is more to do. With recruitment and retention so difficult, the welfare and safety of students and fellow staff is at risk.

Following information and listening sessions across the state, ESP member-organizers have developed an ESP Bill of Rights. Click here to learn more about the Bill of Rights and get involved.


Check out this episode!

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