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Open Positions on your ESP Council

Your Voice Matters! Join your ESP Council to support and advocate for members.

We have two vacancies on the ESP Council – An election notice mailer went out to ESPs regarding these vacancies:•

ESP Ethnic Minority member (Remainder of term to 2023)

Eligibility: All IEA-NEA members who are employed as Educational Support Professionals in a school district and/or combination of school districts are eligible to participate in the election.

ESP Suburban Alternate/NEA RA successor delegate (Remainder of term to 2023)

Eligibility: All IEA-NEA members in Regions 26-36, 39, 41-43, 46, 50, 52, 55-59, 64 and 67 are eligible to participate in the election.

Nominations are due Oct. 13. The fall election nomination form is available online at iea.org/about/elections.

Nomination form: https://nom.election-america.com/iea

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Don’t Miss This Opportunity! IEA One Conference! Registration Closes Soon!

October 1-2, 2021
Virtual Conference

You won’t want to miss this conference!! This no cost, amazing conference is planned by ESPs for ESPs!! Registration closes soon!

IEA Higher Education, Education Support Professionals, and IEA Retired members, please join us for the 2021 One Virtual Conference.

This year’s virtual conference will offer opportunities for professional development, informational sessions, and a keynote session featuring NEA ESP of the Year, Kimberly Scott-Hayden. We will also be recognizing IEA Retired Hauge Award winner, Gayla Dial, IEA ESP of the Year, Debra Ward-Mitchell, and IEA Higher Educator of the Year, Jim Grimes.

Elective sessions begin Friday, October 1 and will conclude with the keynote session on Saturday.

Registration is open to IEA members only. Please check elective descriptors for availability of Professional Development Hours (PD-Hr.)

REGISTRATION

Conference Overview | Elective Descriptors | Elective Schedule

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Proud IEA ESP!

As education support professionals often times we can be made to feel…well, less. Less important and less valued. I once had a superintendant say we (ESP) are a dime a dozen. Thankfully not my current superintendant, with whom I have a nice relationship. That earlier comment wasn’t to far off. We definitely are underpaid for the essential work we do for our students, schools, and communities and it doesn’t feel like we are paid much more than that.

Why should you be an ESP IEA member? Because your IEA President, Kathi Griffin and executive board values who we are and what we do!

I have had the pleasure of being the IEA ESP Council Chair for a little over a year. I have NEVER been made to feel less. On the contrary, I am encouraged and my voice and opinion is sought and truly valued.

Recent legislative accomplishments that support ESPs. This is not a complete list:

  • Passage of HB 12-reduces the hours to qualify from 1250 to 1000 so more ESPs have access to this important benefit (years of lobbying and advocating to pass)
  • Passage of HR 77-Resolution seeking to find solutions to salary parity, quality professional development and access to health benefits for ESP members
  • Passage of HB3474-Protecting our seats on our IMRF retirement board. Ensures that those who are eligible to run as an executive trustee candidate (Employer) on the IMRF Board of Trustees can only run for the executive trustee position.

We have only just begun! Great things…Huge things are coming!!

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Hon. Ram Villivalam Educator Appreciation Happy Hour

Thank you to the Honorable Ram Villivalam for supporting public education and education support professionals by helping to pass HB12, so a greater number of ESPs have access to the Family Medical Leave Act, an important health benefit. Come celebrate educators and meet the Hon. Ram Villivalam at this event.

Hon. Ram Villivalam

Educator Appreciation Happy Hour

Tuesday September 21 * 4:00-6:00pm 4055 W. Peterson Ave, Alarmist Brewing Parking Lot

Questions Please contact Joey Slater at joeys@ramforsenate.com

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Don’t miss this Saturday’s ESP Roundtable

Topic: Member Engagement

Time: September 11, 2021 10:00 – 11:30 am, Central Time (US and Canada)

Attention all Education Support Professionals (“ESP”):

Please join us for our first roundtable of the 2021-2022 school year! IEA UniServ Director, Laura Urso (Region 59, Lombard) who will lead a discussion on member engagement. This opportunity will provide strategies for promoting a local culture that appeals to different motivations of members while recognizing the contribution of all members of the local. If you have any questions or would like more information, please visit http://www.ieaespcouncil.com.

Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86318897479?pwd=amZaUjdrbThwUC9VL1dCUXJmTnE0UT09

Meeting ID: 863 1889 7479 Passcode: 345672

10+ Staff Meeting Clipart - Preview : Update: The Futur | HDClipartAll
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Open ESP Council Positions

Election Notice Nomination Form For:

2,994 Nominations Illustrations & Clip Art - iStock

Educational Support Professional Council:
Vacancy: Ethnic Minority Member (remainder of term to 2023)
Eligibility: All IEA-NEA members who are employed as Educational Support Professionals in a school district and/or combination of school districts are eligible to participate in the election for the above positions.

Educational Support Professional Suburban Alternate/NEA RA Successor Delegate (Remainder of term to 2023):
Eligibility: All IEA-NEA members in Regions 26-36, 39, 41-43, 46, 50, 52, 55-59, 64 and 67 are eligible to participate in the election for the above position.
Please use the nomination form in the link below and fill in all information. Online forms are available at ieanea.org/about/elections. You will need your member only login information to access the forms.

Click for more information

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A Message from IEA President Kathi Griffin

Welcome to the 2021-22 school year. It’s definitely not the start of the year any of us had looked forward to or had planned for. After ending last school year mostly learning in-person, lower case numbers, a vaccine readily available and gaining the ability over the summer to go maskless, the start of this year was looking bright.

While we are so happy that students are walking through the doors of our buildings this year, COVID-19 has not gone away. We know the best place for students to be is in the classroom, as long as it’s safe. We know you care about your students and you want them there, too. So, we are working hard to keep conditions where students can learn and where they, and all those around them, can remain safe and healthy. This isn’t about politics, it’s about safety.

That’s why we have supported the Executive Order on vaccinations and testing. Of course, we encourage members to get vaccinated because it’s the best safety measure, but we also recognize that members value their freedom and their right to privacy. That’s why we pushed to have testing be an option, to protect a person’s right not to get one. And when things were moving too fast, we, along with the Illinois Federation of Teachers, pushed to slow them down. On Friday, it was announced that instead of the deadline being Sept. 5 to show proof of vaccination or a negative test result, that date has been moved to Sept. 19. We recommend that if you are not fully vaccinated by that date, be prepared to get tested on your own and show up to work on Mon., Sept. 20 with a negative COVID test in hand.

We understand it’s been a stressful start to the school year. We want to help. Please reach out, whether it be to your local president, your UniServ Director or to IEA Connect. We will continue to advocate for you.

Thank you for all your hard work and patience. We are working to make sure you are safe, that students are safe and that your job and rights are protected.

Please take care and be well.
Kathi

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Don’t miss this training

The President Support Team will be hosting a training on Communications on September 15 at 6:00 p.m. using Zoom. This is one of four trainings being offered this year by the PST. Registration is not required. Participants will be placed into the lobby after logging in. Please make sure your first name, last name and local name are identified as your Zoom screen name. Each participant will be individually added to the training session.

For more information on the supports that the President Support Team has created for IEA Local Presidents and to see the upcoming trainings, view/download the updated pamphlet.

Communications Training | Sept. 15 | 2021

6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 931 2972 8053  Passcode: 720082

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Member Engagement Roundtable Discussion

IEA ESP Council

Topic: Member Engagement 

Time: September 11, 2021 10:00 – 11:30 am, Central Time (US and Canada) 

Attention all Education Support Professionals (“ESP”): 

Please join us for our first roundtable of the 2021-2022 school year! IEA UniServ Director, Laura Urso (Region 59, Lombard) who will lead a discussion on member engagement. This opportunity will provide strategies for promoting a local culture that appeals to different motivations of members while recognizing the contribution of all members of the local. If you have any questions or would like more information, please visit www.ieaespcouncil.com. 

Join Zoom Meeting  
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86318897479?pwd=amZaUjdrbThwUC9VL1dCUXJmTnE0UT09  

Meeting ID: 863 1889 7479  
Passcode: 345672  

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New ESP SEL Resources

Hello ESP Leaders,

As we begin a new school year during an ongoing crisis, we must continue to prioritize the mental health of everyone in our school communities. That’s why NEA has developed social emotional learning (SEL) resources and supports for teachers, education support professionals, and other educators to manage stress, practice self-care, and build SEL skills with their students. On the NEA website, you can access a wide range of SEL-related content for educators, including webinars, trainings, member stories, and more. View these resources at www.nea.org/sel and share them with your colleagues!Have a great year and stay safe everyone.

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IEA survey: Well-being, back-to-school

I reveived this in my email today.

If you’ve already taken the survey, thank you! If you haven’t, there is still time—the survey closes Tuesday at midnight.
 
As we enter the third school year affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, learning and working conditions in Illinois continue to be a challenge. The Illinois Education Association wants to know how you, as a valued member, feel about a variety of subjects – your well-being, vaccines, mitigation factors – as the 2021-22 school year starts. Please take a few minutes to fill out this survey. Your opinion matters.
 
Thank you. Stay safe and be well.
Take the Survey
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Today’s ESP Council Meeting

Wow, this morning your ESP Council met for their first in-person meeting in over a year. Covid has forced us to learn, grow, and pivot and as a result we are able to offer a virtual option for our southern council members and guests who needed and wanted to attend. Mark your calendars… we have scheduled meetings across the state. For more information please contact Arlene Criglar at arlene.criglar@ieanea.org.

Upcoming ESP Meeting Dates, and Locations 

  • 8/21/21 Naperville – 10:00-12:30 Fabulous meeting!
  • 11/13/21 Lombard
  • 2/26/22 Naperville
  • 4/23/22 Carterville
  • 6/11/22 Bloomington

ESP Roundtables

  • September 11- Membership Engagement
  • November 18th – ESP Discussion and Support

One Conference 2021 – REGISTER TODAY!! DON’T MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY!!

October 1-2, 2021
Virtual Conference

REGISTRATION

Conference Overview | Elective Descriptors | Elective Schedule

This year’s virtual conference will offer opportunities for professional development, informational sessions, and a keynote session featuring NEA ESP of the Year, Kimberly Scott-Hayden. We will also be recognizing IEA Retired Hauge Award winner, Gayla Dial, IEA ESP of the Year, Debra Ward-Mitchell, and IEA Higher Educator of the Year, Jim Grimes.

Elective sessions begin Friday, October 1 and will conclude with the keynote session on Saturday.

Registration is open to IEA members only. Please check elective descriptors for availability of Professional Development Hours (PD-Hr.)

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So This Happened Today….

As ESP Council Chair for the Illinois Education Association, I am very proud to have the opportunity to advocate for education support professionals throughout Illinois. Thank you to IEA and all of the representatives who helped move HB12 past the finish line which allows more education support staff to qualify for FMLA benefits.

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IEA One Conference Registration is Now Open!

October 1-2, 2021
Virtual Conference

You won’t want to miss this conference!! This no cost, amazing conference is planned by ESPs for ESPs!! Register today!

IEA Higher Education, Education Support Professionals, and IEA Retired members, please join us for the 2021 One Virtual Conference.

This year’s virtual conference will offer opportunities for professional development, informational sessions, and a keynote session featuring NEA ESP of the Year, Kimberly Scott-Hayden. We will also be recognizing IEA Retired Hauge Award winner, Gayla Dial, IEA ESP of the Year, Debra Ward-Mitchell, and IEA Higher Educator of the Year, Jim Grimes.

Elective sessions begin Friday, October 1 and will conclude with the keynote session on Saturday.

Registration is open to IEA members only. Please check elective descriptors for availability of Professional Development Hours (PD-Hr.)

REGISTRATION

Conference Overview | Elective Descriptors | Elective Schedule

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The Benefits of Reading for Fun

There’s a powerful academic impact, new research reveals, when students are voracious, voluntary readers….I could have told them that. LOL!

I think we all know that the more students read and are read to, the better academically they perform in a wide variety of subjects. Education Support Professionals have a unique opportunity to support and education the whole child. As ESPs whether we are the school bus driver, custodian or any ESP job category we can build that informal bond with students. Not one formed for a purpose of molding them to an academic standard or curriculum. Education support professionals have the unique opportunity to enhance every students education by building authentic relationships built on the needs of the whole child. When caring adults form healthy relationships with students, students are more apt to grow academically, emotionally, and with in the school community. Education Support Staff have a unique opportunity to have important encouraging conversations daily with students outside of the classroom that supports and builds school community. When students feel supported and have a connection within the education community they are far more likely to do better in school.

This next school year will begin very soon…and as you prepare to return to your schools, in your various job categories, I encourage you to have more REAL conversations with students. Be encouraging, listen, ask probing questions, but most of all let them know that no matter what, they are enough and that you care. #weloveESPs #rESPect #ESPsmakeadifference

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Student Loan Crisis Isn’t Just For Certified Staff

Tackling the student loan crisis would benefit educators of all generations. Together we can build a higher education system that works for everyone: https://bit.ly/3l1gpoV

May be an image of 1 person and text that says 'ned EDUCATION NATIONAL ASSOCIATION Over 25% of educators over over the age of 61 still haven't paid off their student loans, with 35% carrying more than $45k in debt. Û A National Student Loan Debt among Educators:'


From pre-K to Ph.D., our right to learn, grow, and thrive should be based on how big we dream and how hard we work. However, for too long, the student debt system has been designed to profit off the backs of students and educators. Together we can make sure everybody who wants to learn and grow can do so—without a lifetime of student debt.

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Apply today for an IEA Microgrant

Apply for a chance to receive $100 to $1,000 to help your local recruit, retain and engage members!

The Illinois Education Association is giving away MICROGRANTS to locals to hold events, socials, bowling nights, mixers, 5K-runs, professional development days—whatever you can dream up—that you think will help recruit new members, retain current members and engage all members. First-round applications will be accepted until Sept. 15

Final-round applications will be accepted until Dec. 15
Apply for a Microgrant

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ESP Unemployment Paperwork Support

We are extremely thankful that Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed House Bill 2643! But what now? Here are some links and supports from a fabulous ESP President Amy Evans who has struggled through the red tape to apply for this benefit. See below the resources she has provided.

Good afternoon All-

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed House Bill 2643, the legislation that extends unemployment insurance for non-instructional school employees until Sept. 4. It goes into effect immediately. I have been in contact with IEA and unemployment this morning to make sure I have as much information I can regarding this new piece of legislation to pass on.

The legislation allows non instructional, research or primarily administrative employees of educational employers are eligible to receive unemployment compensation during periods between academic terms or seasonal breaks, even if they have a “reasonable assurance” of returning to work in the next academic year.

Important points to know:
1.  This legislation does not apply to teachers. It ONLY applies to Non-Instructional staff.

2. While we realize there will be questions about eligibility, Canton Education Association CANNOT advise on how to complete forms for IDES. IEA has provided resource links (also linked below). This includes options to “click” within the application process. The information sheet has the suggestions for this.

A. Non-instructional school employees information sheet
<https://3pf92a428h7y2o2e1d3olqk2-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Non-instructional-school-employees-information-sheet-6-9-2020.pdf>

 B. Claim process form
<https://3pf92a428h7y2o2e1d3olqk2-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Claim-Process.pdf>

C. Before filing a claim, watch this 9-minute video
<https://www2.illinois.gov/ides/pages/file-a-claim.aspx>

Here are some steps you may have to take to receive your unemployment benefit.

  1. File as listed above.
  2. You should receive a letter of UI Finding. This document will have your benefit amount along with your certifying date.
  3. You may also receive an Academic Personnel Questionnaire. Fill this out and send it in by the requested date.

**It is recommended by unemployment to upload this document onto the IDES website** Submit your Document here – IDES (illinois.gov)

  1. If you don’t receive your funds in 3-5 business days after certifying, call unemployment to get into the call-back que as soon as possible.
  2. In the meantime, you may receive a Claimant Notice of Possible Ineligibility. More than likely your benefit is on suspension due to having a return to work date submitted by the district to IDES. The district is not doing anything malicious to keep employees from receiving these benefits. After an employee certifies, the district is sent a document asking if employee A, B and C have reasonable assurance and have a return to work date. The district honestly answers yes. Once they do that, it immediately suspends the benefit.
  3. Once you receive a call-back, explain that you are a non-instructional school employee. IDES will check to see if you have all of your documents turned in.
  4. During this call they may transfer to an adjudicator. This person will release the suspension if all the proper documentation is submitted. If IDES is not able to transfer you at that time to the adjudicator, they will call you back.
  5. Once the adjudicator lifts the suspension, you should receive your benefit within 3-5 business days.
  6. During this process please remember to certify on your scheduled date. It is important to do this even if you are going through he adjudication process. If you do not certify the process will have to start from the beginning.

IDES would also like to share that there is a lot of fraud going on right now by email and text messages. IDES assured me that they will never send any correspondence that requires you to click a link. They will instruct you to go directly to the IDES website.  PLEASE! DO NOT clink on any links. If you have done so, contact IDES immediately. They will help you to correct this matter.

Keep in mind this is a problem within the system, not with the people at IDES.

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SEL Strategies from a Culture and Climate Coach

How to help students, educators and families cope as schools return to in-person learning.

  1. Allowing students to identify their feelings helps them manage difficult emotions.
  2. Educators need ways to manage their own stress if they are to help students manage theirs.
  3. Funding for community support of mental health and SEL are needed.

Gina Harris is one of four Culture and Climate Coaches in the Oak Park and Ridge Forest School District who were hired in 2019 to create more inclusive, equitable and connected school communities throughout the district. The pandemic moved her job online, but it also shed light on how much students need her to continue the work.

NEA Today spoke with Harris about the need for social and emotional learning (SEL) to support student and educator mental health.

Gina Harris
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Leaders for Just Schools

Ready to impact your school, district and community around racial and social justice issues? Want to brainstorm with other leaders how to address equity and resilience related issues? The NEA, in partnership with the Kellogg Foundation, has developed a cutting edge leadership development program for those interested in racial, social and educational justice. The IEA and the Opportunity Coalition are pleased to announce the Leaders for Just Schools cohorts for the 2021-22 school year. The instructors are state and local leaders, award winning educators and experienced community organizers who will help you build momentum for change in your local schools and communities. Cohort members who successfully complete the program will receive a micro credential and will have the opportunity to earn an organizing stipend to continue the work.

Dates for the 2021-22 Leaders for Just Schools Level 1 Cohort: – Sept. 18,  Nov. 13,  Jan. 22 and April 23.

All sessions will be held 9:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Learn more about the Leaders for Just Schools program here!

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I hope you are enjoying your summer!!

Summer is a time for you to rest, renew, and recharge. It is a time for self care. Find something you enjoy….then enjoy it.

I have been keeping busy, but finding time to recharge!!

It has been a busy summer with:

  • National Education Association Representative Assembly
  • Participating as a facilatator in a fabulous virtual NEA Mentoring Program
  • Participating in and presenting in the Summer Leadership Academy (next week)
  • Planning/organizing, prepping for a VERY productive Education Support Professional Council year
  • Planning and organizing for my local’s mentoring program
  • Last but most importantly, taking time to breath and enjoy my family

WHY do I do what I do? Well, I enjoy it. I love trying to make a difference and I believe that all support staff deserve to be treated with respect and have the resources they need to support their students, schools, districts, and communities.

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Never Underestimate Your Importance!

Education Support Professional Proud!!

Brooke Ceh is a teaching assistant (TA) at Westmont High School, in Illinois, who can’t say no to helping teachers and students. Her only goal? Student success.

In the “before time,” Ceh provided one-on-one help in the physical classroom. This past year, she’s been online, going above and beyond to meet with students outside the school day, even helping students in classes that she does not TA in. The anonymous colleague who told NEA about Ceh calls her amazing, remarkable, and totally dedicated to students.

Philosophy 4 Children
NEA News: What’s Your Inspiration

Share your story! ESPs are making a difference everyday in the lives of our students! #rESPect #ESPsRock #WestmontHighSchool

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Webinar Tomorrow-Get Help With Student Debt Webinar

Jul 8, 2021 05:00 PM in Central Time (US and Canada)

IEA is hosting a discussion on student debt on July 8 from 5 pm to 6 pm. Join student debt experts to discuss how we can cancel our student debt. Last year, NEA experts worked with members to obtain more than $1 million in forgiveness and put even more on the path to forgiveness with the NEA Student Debt Navigator. Join us on July 8 to learn more.

*If you have kids approaching college age, don’t miss this webinar. Learn ways to possibly get yours or your kids student loans forgiven. (I am currently in a loan forgiveness program for my kids college education)

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Today, is the last day of the NEA RA

Just a few of the amazing guests at this year’s National Edcation Association Representative Assembly……so far! So many powerful conversations!!

As great as it is to hear from these powerful speakers, it is more important to remember that it is our voice and vote that put’s them in that position. All of our votes matter! Even though this NEA RA is virtual, we have been very busy conducting important business. Voting…using our voices to lead and direct this organization. We have been voting on New Business Items, Constitutional Amendments, Legistlative platforms, and a host of other things that will help support our students, protect, and strengthen public education and benefit our members.

Thank you to ALL of the delegates who are participating in this representative Assembly.

Let’s finish strong!! We are NEA!!!

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2021 NEA ESP of the Year, Kimberly Scott-Hayden

“And here’s the bottom line: we are all educators. Whether or not, we come into direct contact with students, we are part of the public education system that helps to build their success.”We’re so inspired by our 2021 NEA ESP of the Year, Kimberly Scott-Hayden.

Thank you Kimberly Scott-Hayden for representing education support professionals so well! Yes, all public school employees, whether you work directly with students or not, are essential to the success of our students, colleagues, and communities. Imagine if there were no bus drivers, custodians, or any of our fabulous categories. Our students education experience would suffer. Never doubt your importance!! YOU ARE ESSENTIAL!!

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House Bill 2643-IEA Update! ESP Unemployment Legislation

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July 1, 2021

Over the weekend, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed House Bill 2643, the legislation that extends unemployment insurance for non-instructional school employees until Sept. 4. It goes into effect immediately.

The legislation allows noninstructional, research or primarily administrative employees of educational employers are eligible to receive unemployment compensation during periods between academic terms or seasonal breaks, even if they have a “reasonable assurance” of returning to work in the next academic year.

IEA is sending out an email to members today to inform them about this measure and also provide information about the federal child tax credit money that will be flowing into many members’ bank accounts on July 15. In addition, IEA will be sharing the following resources:

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Have you seen the June NEA Today magazine?

There are several great articles in this months NEA Today magazine. I especially enjoyed the article on “NEA’s ESP of the Year Gives Back in Every Aspect of Her Career” and “Lean On Me”. Two great articles that inspire me to be better and makes me so proud to be an ESP and work in public education. Also, “Q&A Meet the New Secretary of Education”. Miguel Cardona answers educators’ questions at an NEA-hosted virtual town hall. Go figure… a Secretary of Education who is pro public education.

NEA Today Magazine Subscription Test - NEA magazine subscription