Over the past few years, Idaho has cut education funding nearly a quarter of a billion dollars. The Luna laws will stretch school district budgets even thinner over the next few years. Idaho educators and their families are paying the price. Layoffs are happening all over the state. What is the IEA/NEA doing to help?
First of all, we are committed to cataloging – both in data and anecdotes – the toll these cuts and bad laws are taking. If you have been laid off, if you are leaving Idaho for a better job, or if you are switching careers due to the changes in Idaho education, we want to hear your story. Go here to tell us what happened. These stories will help us make a strong case against future funding cuts and for overturning the harmful education laws passed by the 2011 Idaho Legislature.
NEA Member Benefits has a Member Assistance Program designed to help educators cope with non-renewals, layoffs, salary cuts, and other financial issues. Resources include:
Job Layoff Checklist: This comprehensive list of recommended actions will help members cover their bases and protect themselves financially while searching for a new job.
Job Search Service: Start a job search at Teachers-Teachers.com, a free online education placement service that helps educators find new teaching and administrative positions and other education-related jobs. Also explore the other job search sites that are referenced in the Job Layoff Checklist.
Financial Counseling: Members can get their finances in order with help from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), an NEA Member Benefits business partner that provides budgeting, debt management and mortgage counseling to NEA/IEA members and their families. Locate an NFCC member agency in your area by calling 1-866-479-NEA2 (6322) or visit www.debtadvice.org/nea.
Other help available through Member Benefits and its suppliers include mortgage assistance options; credit card payment assistance; insurance payment options and assistance; retirement savings waivers; health discounts and concessions; tuition discounts; and online money management tools and information
It’s important to remember that you must maintain your IEA membership to be eligible for the Member Assistance Plan and other services. Even if you are no longer eligible for active membership due to a layoff, you can get reserve membership at a reduced cost and still be entitled to IEA-NEA benefits and services.
Talk with your regional office to see what other services might be available on your regional or local level. For example, the IEA and IEA-Member Benefits may hold special seminars later this year to help educators in areas especially hard hit by layoffs. Click here for regional office contact information. David Glenn, NEA Member Benefits Affiliate Relations Specialist for Idaho, is another good resource.
Finally, it's important to remember that you are not alone. Share your story, talk with others, and be good to yourself and your loved ones. Above all, let us know how we can help you.