Education Support Professionals
Kathy Coon, winner of the 2018 Kevin Forney ESP Award (center).
Education Support Professionals are OEA-NEA members working in the wide variety of "classified" positions in their school districts or community colleges.
OEA represents over 6,300 Educational Support Professionals (ESPs) covering paraeducators, instructional assistants, transportation, administrative assistants, secretaries, food service, school nurses, technicians, and custodians. From the school bus in the morning, to classrooms, cafeterias, offices, and college campuses in the evening, OEA Education Support Professionals are there working for all ages of students in Oregon public education.
Across the country, the National Education Association (NEA) represents almost 500,000 Education Support Professionals, the largest union for ESPs in the country. More information about NEA resources for ESPs can be found at: www.nea.org/esp.
Within OEA, our ESP members have their own statewide council, the Oregon Council for Education Support Professionals, along with governing positions on OEA's Board of Directors. OEA ESP member Gail Rasmussen was elected OEA President in April 2009.
Our ESP members are engaged and mobilized on issues of public education and professional development. Sponsored by OEA and the ESP members of the Association of Salem-Keizer Education Support Professionals (ASKESP), Energize for Action is the second-largest annual gathering of members (following OEA's Rep Assembly) and brings over 600 ESP members to over 30 workshops on union activism and professional development.
OEA's Guide for New Education Support Professionals, created by OEA's Center for Great Public Schools, provides tips and resources specifically designed to assist new education support professionals as they acclimate to their new position and to the Association.