NSWERS has its roots in Legislative Bill 1071 enacted by the One Hundred First Legislature, Second Session, signed into law by Governor Dave Heineman on April 14, 2010. This bill directed the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska, the Nebraska State Board of Education, the Board of Trustees of the Nebraska State Colleges, and the Board of Governors for each community college area to adopt a policy to share student data. The resulting Memorandum of Understanding established an agreement “to share student data for the purposes of evaluation of and research related to public prekindergarten, elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education to improve education in Nebraska.” In the fall of 2019, these partners advanced this cooperation and completed the legal formation of the NSWERS as a joint public entity under the Nebraska Interlocal Cooperation Act for mutual advantage regarding data initiatives.
Signed into law by Governor Pete Ricketts on August 10, 2020, Legislative Bill 1160 – known as the Nebraska Statewide Workforce and Education Reporting System Act (2020) – supports the continued planning and development of NSWERS, envisioned as a comprehensive, sustainable, and robust lifelong learning and workforce longitudinal data system serving the needs of the people of Nebraska. Further, the bill directs the Nebraska Department of Labor to execute a memorandum of understanding with NSWERS to ensure the exchange of available data from the Nebraska Department of Labor.
On September 1, 2020, Dr. Matt Hastings was hired as founding Executive Director for NSWERS. He has established core operational capacities, built a team of dedicated NSWERS staff, and created the procedural and technical structures necessary for the creation and maintenance of an NSWERS data system.
Legislative Bill 1130 was introduced by Senator Adam Morfeld on January 19, 2022 and became a Speaker priority bill on February 23. The bill was signed by Governor Pete Ricketts on April 19, 2022. LB 1130 requires the filing of an annual report with the Clerk of the Legislature and the Governor, providing an overview of research and analysis conducted by NSWERS, additional data needs for future analysis, and organizational structure needs.