Does district upper management even know what ESPs do?


We heard from many paraprofessionals after the last JESPA bargaining session on May 19th, wondering if the district administration we are bargaining with even knows what we do.

We even had one member that could not believe what she was hearing and put together a transcript/ paraphrased summary, which we will paste below.

If you’d like to see the exchange between our president, Lara Center, and a district cabinet member, Steve Bell, click here and advance to about 8 minutes in to see the whole conversation:

8:41 Lara Academic section of Return to Learning Draft
13:01 Vicki A top priority of our members is students need more support right now,
not less
13:56 Katharine Hesitate to rely too much on what’s a draft right now.
15:09 Katharine When does JESPA think training should take place?
Vicki “Yesterday”
19:09 Steve Bell Regarding para training:
“This is more about operational practices on the educational side that is
a negotiated agreement provision, but in any event, when you talk about
training, are you talking about training to participate with teachers and
administrators in the functions that they do, whether they’re on site or
remote or are you talking about a training that is an advisement an
awareness of what’s going on, because we’ve got multiple teaching
programs potentially that we could be looking at in the fall. So I guess
my question is, are you asking to be part of the educational operation
and the actual processes that are taking place to teach kids and our
students or are you asking for training so you have an awareness of what
remote looks like, what the on site looks like, given the restrictions that
we may have and what the practices in our buildings might be?”
Vicki “The former of what you just said, the folks that we represent that work
directly with students need to have the training to support students.”
21:12 Steve “Are you asking to be a MEMBER of the educational program, which
means you’ll interact with students directly to teach them, whether it’s in
building or remote, because if you are, I think you’ve got a licensing
21:26 Lara “Paras do not teach content, we support the content that’s already been
Explains an example of what it might look like with paras supporting
content via Zoom
22:26 Lara “We’re not ASKING to be a part of the educational team, we ARE part of
the educational team.”
22:34 Steve ** “We’re talking about an actual teacher assistant which, I understand, and
I know we have those now, and those programs as you just outlined,


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