Home Minnesota Educator Unemployment insurance, paid training for ESPs now law

Unemployment insurance, paid training for ESPs now law

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The Legislature enacted meaningful changes for ESPs this session.

Paid training

The paraprofessional training aid passed requires eight hours of training, six of which have to be completed prior to the start of the school year. The Department of Education will be reimbursing employers for the costs related to this training. Importantly, law now also requires specific training for paraprofessionals working with students receiving special education services so that all staff working with a student can be familiar with the student’s IEP.

Access to IEP data

Districts have five days from when a student starts working with a child to offer an educator time to read the IEP of a student. This may be built within the workday, but it must be paid time.

Paid e-learning days

If it declares an e-learning day, a district must pay all employees their wages and benefits on that day, regardless of what their position is. The new language also requires that districts permit employees to work remotely to the extent practicable or make other accommodations, including alternate work sites or permitting workers to be on-call.

Unemployment insurance

Paraprofessionals, clerical, nutrition services, transportation, custodial and other non-instructional employees are now eligible to apply for unemployment benefits if they do not have an offer of employment for work during the summer. This change took effect May 28.

Education Minnesota has robust information online at www.educationminnesota.org/ui-for-esps, including a direct link to the application site. Included here are some answers to frequently asked questions, but more are answered on the website.

Q: Should I apply for unemployment benefits this summer?
A: Yes, if you are not working this summer or are working a significantly reduced schedule, you should apply. To be eligible for unemployment benefits, you must be actively looking for work and you must accept suitable offers of employment. Education Minnesota encourages you to accept jobs that are offered to you—especially summer school and extended school year positions with your district—AND apply for unemployment, as you may be eligible for a partial benefit.

Q: I am still working 10 hours a week and provide one of the following services; summer meals, meal delivery, child care or education support with my school district. Will I be eligible for unemployment?
A: The only way to know whether you’re eligible for UI benefits is to apply and answer the questions honestly. Unemployment offers a partial benefit for individuals who work at jobs where they make less. It’s probably in your self-interest to work summer school and collect the partial unemployment payment.

Q: My salary is paid year-round (annualized pay) with the school district. Am I still eligible for unemployment?
A: Salary paid for work prior to the unemployment benefit reporting period you are applying for is not counted as income against your unemployment benefit for purposes of unemployment. (Annualized wages do not reduce your unemployment benefit if found

Things to consider

Should there be a break between the end of the school year and before summer school starts, you should apply for unemployment, as there are five weekdays without work that must be served before unemployment eligibility may begin. When working at summer school, should your hours drop in a week and you were not eligible before, you may be now and should apply. If there are weekdays after summer school ends and school begins, you should apply as you may be eligible.

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