Education Support Professionals


Who We Are: Education Support Professionals (ESP) are the classified staff in our districts and schools (full-time or part-time) who make sure students have the tools and support they need to succeed. ESP members include paraeducators, food service workers, bus drivers and mechanics, custodians and facility managers, school secretaries and clerical staff, nurses and health aides, maintenance employees, security personnel, landscapers and grounds keepers, and technicians.

More than half a million ESPs across the country are members of the National Education Association, taking care of students every day in unique ways that educate the whole child. Keep up with current news on the NEA’s ESP website pageThe Colorado Education Association is very proud of how our thousands of ESP members go above and beyond for their students. For an example of ESP engagement, watch this video of Ann Benninghoff (Jeffco CSEA member), a 30+ year paraprofessional at Littleton’s Dutch Creek Elementary, who volunteers time to lead her students in before-and-after school martial arts classes.

How to Join Us: Most support staff are eligible to join through one of CEA’s 200 Local Associations or a BOCES Unit. You will gain membership in the both the NEA and the CEA, and many ESP will also become a member of a Local Association upon joining. ESP dues are approximately one-half of dues for teachers and are based on the number of hours worked in a year. Part-time dues are available. You can join at any time during the year.

Learn more about the benefits of membership from the Association Representative (AR) in your school. Your AR will have dues information and can assist you in completing the appropriate forms if you decide to join. Your Local Association may use the CEA-NEA Membership Form (which you can download here) or the AR may give you a local form to complete. If you work in a school district or BOCES without an active CEA Local Association, or cannot locate your AR for any reason, click here for a map of our state UniServ Offices and ask the local staff about belonging. You can also contact CEA Membership by email or call 303-837-1500 (1-800-332-5939) for membership information.

We hope you will join the thousands of Education Support Professions in Colorado who have decided to join their national, state and local professional associations that work collectively to help every student thrive.