Urge members of Congress to support modernizing our nation’s school buildings
NEA President Lily Eskelsen García helped call attention to the pressing need to modernize public school buildings by participating in the press event marking the introduction of the Rebuild America’s Schools Act (H.R. 865/S. 266). The American Society of Civil Engineers gives the condition of America’s 100,000 public school buildings — 44 years old, on average — an overall grade of D+. More than 60,000 schools have poor indoor air quality, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and 19,000 schools serving 11.6 million students lack the minimum connectivity necessary for digital learning. The Rebuild America’s Schools Act would create a $70 billion grant program and $30 billion tax-credit bond program that targets high-poverty schools whose facilities pose health and safety risks to students and staff. It would also restore Qualified Zone Academy Bonds (QZABs), which were eliminated by the 2017 GOP tax bill, and permanently increase the national limit to $1.4 billion per year — a sorely needed initiative. Click here and urge your members of Congress to support the Rebuild America’s Schools Act.
Tell your representatives to support the Paycheck Fairness Act to ensure women get equal pay for equal work
The Paycheck Fairness Act — introduced by Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), and cosponsored by all House Democrats — would ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work. On average, women still earn just 80 cents for every dollar earned by men. The bill updates the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which has not fully achieved the goal of closing the wage gap due to limited enforcement tools and inadequate remedies. First introduced in 1997, the Paycheck Fairness Act would require employers that pay employees different amounts for the same jobs to demonstrate a cause for that discrepancy other than gender. Other provisions would guarantee working women the right to challenge pay discrimination and end the practice of pay secrecy. Click here and urge your members of Congress to support the Paycheck Fairness Act.
Cheers and Jeers
29 Republicans who joined House Democrats in voting for the NEA-supported Federal Civilian Workforce Pay Raise Fairness Act, which provides a 2.6 percent pay increase for civilian federal government employees — the same amount military personnel received in a 2019 spending bill passed last year. Beneficiaries include faculty and staff — NEA members — in 164 schools run by the Department of Defense in 11 foreign countries, seven states, Guam, and Puerto Rico.
Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA), Representative Donald Norcross (D-NJ), and Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) for introducing the Rebuild America’s Schools Act
Representative John Larson (D-CT) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) for introducing the Social Security 2100 Act that strengthens the Social Security Trust Fund, increases current and future benefits, and takes other steps to protect low-income workers
Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) for reintroducing the Paycheck Fairness Act