NSEA represents educators across the state, including many thousand Education Support Professionals (ESPs) who provide vital services to the children in Nevada’s public education system. ESPs perform a wide range of essential work, including nutrition services, instructional assistance, school secretaries, maintenance and operations, student transportation, and more.
Nine-month, ten-month, and eleven-month education employees are not currently eligible to receive unemployment benefits during the summer months if they have a reasonable assurance to return for the next school year. Under normal circumstances, most ESPs have other employment opportunities during the summer. This income is vital to many ESPs, especially those who make less than a living wage during their working months. Unfortunately, with the COVID-19 pandemic, job opportunities last summer were severely limited, and many ESPs struggled to make ends meet.
The likelihood of another summer with limited job opportunities due to the COVID-19 crisis would mean another summer with no income for thousands of Nevada educators. NSEA is seeking an amendment to SB75 to allow education support professionals to be eligible for unemployment benefits during the summer months.
In 1991, federal law made it optional for states to deny unemployment to nonprofessional employees of education institutions both for the weeks that begin during a break between academic terms and for those that begin during a vacation or recess for a holiday. NSEA is offering this amendment to SB75 to remove the language in NRS 612.432 and 612.434 referencing “service in other capacity” or “other service”, which would provide unemployment eligibility for 9, 10, and 11-month education support professionals.