Since the beginning of the pandemic, NSEA consistently raised concerns that school districts lacked the resources needed to operate school buildings safely and effectively during this pandemic. We have also long raised concerns about the chronic underfunding of public education in Nevada, with our per-pupil funding ranking of 48th among states.
While federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds will provide financial relief for school districts to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students and to safely operate school buildings, less restrictive American Rescue Plan dollars can help our schools be even stronger over the coming years, improving the quality of education for every Nevada student.
NSEA applauds the leadership of the Biden administration and Congressional leadership for making American Rescue Plan dollars available to states and school districts. We also want to acknowledge the work of Nevada’s congressional delegation along with our parent, the National Education Association. Leading up to the passage of the ARP, NEA members wrote hundreds of thousands of messages and placed thousands of calls to their representatives advocating for Congress to pass this package containing the single largest investments ever in education funding.
While the NEA and NSEA played a central role in the passage of federal funds, we continue to be concerned about the inclusion of educator voice in the development of programming for federal funds, whether they be ESSER funds or the funds made available by SB461. ARP ESSER requires states to have a process for stakeholder input that expressly includes school staff and their unions. NSEA stands ready to provide constructive input on proposed allocations and would appreciate any consideration in the process moving forward. Thank you.