Arizona Education Association

Summer 2020

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SUMMER 2020 | ADVOCATE 13 ESProfessional We have used the district's funds for PPE, when they could've been used for more meals and technology. E ducation support professionals and educators who remain in direct contact with students and the community during this pandemic urgently need personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep everyone safe. On May 15, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act (Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions). The bill includes $915 billion in direct relief for state and local governments that can be used to pay vital workers such as educators. It also includes $56 million in funding for PPE for educators. "We have used the district's funds for PPE, when they could've been used for more meals and technology," said Vanessa Jimenez, president of the Phoenix Union Classified Employees Association, at an NEA teletown hall on May 7 with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT). As part of the HEROES Act, NEA is pushing for at least $56 million for PPE for education support professionals and educators in direct contact with students. These professionals are continuing to prepare and distribute meals; clean, maintain, and secure school buildings; oversee technology needs; and perform other vital work during the pandemic. They should be considered frontline workers whose jobs are essential, and that means having PPE to protect themselves, as well as their families and communities, from infection. Education Support Professionals and Frontline Educators Need PPE Vanessa Jimenez President Phoenix Union Classified Employees Association Now the fate of desperate economic relief is up to the Senate. If the Senate provided at least what the House did for education stabilization funds, more than 800,000 education jobs could be saved — more than 673,000 K-12 and 153,000 higher ed jobs — the NEA data shows. But clearly, even more than that is needed. As states attempt creating plans to safely reopen schools and universities this fall, students are stuck in limbo. Contact your senators today and urge them to pass the HEROES Act at

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