LINCOLN – Statewide survey results were posted Monday following a news conference about Nebraska educators speaking out about teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the end of October, 18,600 NSEA members were surveyed where more than 6,500 pre-K – 12 educators replied.
President of Nebraska State Education Association, Jenni Benson said one of the more troublesome statistics that were collected was teaching around COVID issues are affecting career plans of many teachers.
“Nearly one in four educators responded that they plan on leaving the profession,” said Benson. “In LPS and OPS it’s closer to one in three educators, 23% statewide, 30% in Lincoln and 31% in Omaha; those are starting numbers.”
Since school started, Benson has traveled over 3,200 miles visiting schools and educators talking to families across the state.
Executive Director with NSEA, Maddie Fennell added the time to act is now and stated employers should utilize tools at their disposal to provide the necessary relief for staff.
“The Nebraska Department of Education under the guidance of Commissioner Blomstedt and with the support of the state board education has made it very clear,” Fennell added. “That they are willing to help and that they have put out new guidelines to show administrators how they could be helping their teachers.”
Commissioner Matt Blomstedt has allowed for 12 hours per quarter of additional time for teachers to be able to plan.
When asked to describe their predominant feeling about teaching right now, 86% of educators replied they’re overwhelmed, stressed, frustrated or worried.
NSEA is joining with medical experts from UNMC and around Nebraska asking that Governor Ricketts mandate masks statewide; limit indoor or outdoor gatherings to 10 people; no indoor dining (takeout Nebraska campaign) and de-densify classrooms with alternate staffing and student attendance.
The group is also calling for a six-week moratorium on all in-person youth and high school sports and extracurricular activities until January.
Benson mentioned action needs to be taken now or schools will have to close.
“Not because we don’t believe that the best place for children is to be in school,” Benson mentioned. “But because we don’t have the manpower, it’s not safe for our educators and our students to be in school.”
Find complete survey results below as results are also broken down by region and can be found online.
Contact the Nebraska State Education Association at 402-475-7611.