- “This was the Time for 20 Session. For over a year, NSEA has been saying It’s Time For 20, calling for a 20% salary increase for all Nevada educators, a $20/hour minimum wage for the workers who make our schools run, and 20 students per class,” said Dawn Etcheverry, President of the Nevada State Education Association. “The number ‘20’ was on the minds of our state leaders, and this Session, it was educator advocacy, not backroom deals, that got the work done for Nevada educators and our kids.”
- This session was about Respect. Whether that means passing measures to keep our educators safe, or compensation, NSEA and our amazing membership came prepared to advocate. Yes, it’s still a rainy day in Nevada, but the work done by educators this Session will help weather this storm.
During week-to-week testimony, an ongoing media presence, and our 1000 strong May rally in Carson City, educators from across the state made it clear it is a rainy day for Nevada’s schools. The Legislature and Governor were put on notice for 120 consecutive days, and Legislators frequently highlighted their support for historic education funding. Our advocacy directly lead to a 26% increase for public education during the next biennium. While we will always advocate for more resources for our classrooms, this increase should be enough for educators in many Nevada school districts to negotiate 20% increases in upcoming contract negotiations.
The additional funding is still just a start, however, as it only represents about 1/3 of what is needed to reach optimal funding. More needs to be done, especially to address Nevada’s largest class sizes in the nation. Nevada must implement the recommendations made by the Commission on School Funding. Our work on those recommendations will continue into the interim. We still disagree with stashing away nearly $3 billion into rainy day reserves, which is nearly 7 times the state’s previous high of $401 million. NSEA believes it is fiscally irresponsible to continue to underfund education, while over-inflating rainy day reserves, when we can’t retain educators or fill their positions when they leave.