Full-time Substitute Teachers Deserve Dignity and Respect!

LAS VEGAS — The ACLU of Nevada released the following statement following Gov. Joe Lombardo’s veto of Assembly Bill 282. AB282, sponsored by Assemblywoman Shondra Summers-Armstrong, would have ensured full-time substitute teachers receive a subsidy for purchasing health insurance. 

ACLU of Nevada Executive Director Athar Haseebullah said: 

“This bill would have provided our substitute public school teachers who work full time with a subsidy to purchase health insurance, a basic benefit that would have provided over a thousand educators statewide with an acknowledgment that despite being shockingly underpaid, our state cares about their health. With a veto of this bill that had bipartisan support, Governor Lombardo has doubled down on the notion that his priority is private school vouchers. Our substitute teachers in public schools should not be subject to political games and risk financial ruin from medical debt. This bill had no ‘unfunded mandate,’ as we discussed ad nauseam during the bill hearings in both the Assembly and Senate since school districts currently save upwards of $40,000 per year by having full-time substitutes in place of licensed teachers.

“Our subs fill the gaps and teach our kids while receiving no support, and school districts continue to save money by not giving these full-time teachers any benefits while not hiring licensed teachers. There is no real statewide plan for filling classroom vacancies, and more and more substitute teachers are realizing they can make a better living as rideshare drivers or doing food deliveries than they can being substitute teachers. Our teacher shortage will exacerbate with no plan to fix it, and this is another example of the lack of respect for a natural pipeline of educators to stabilize our receding teacher workforce. We hope the Legislature considers an override here. All of our educators deserve basic dignity, independent of politics.”