Urge your representative to cosponsor the Public Schools Week resolution
March 25-29 is Public Schools Week. NEA and other national groups representing 10 million educators will celebrate with events and outreach highlighting the essential role public schools play in our democracy, economy, and equipping the next generation of Americans for success in the 21st century. The bipartisan resolution designating March 25-29 Public Schools Week calls on lawmakers at all levels — federal, states, and local — to prioritize strengthening the public schools that educate 9 out of 10 students. Click here and urge your representative to cosponsor the resolution.
Tell your representatives to support the Rebuild America’s Schools Act
At a hearing this week, a coaltion of NEA, other national education groups, and local school districts urged the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Tax Policy to restore Qualified Zone Academy Bonds (QZABs), which were eliminated by the 2017 GOP tax bill. QZABs allow qualifying schools to finance renovations, repairs, and investments in technology at below-market rates — sometimes, as low as zero. The need to modernize our nation’s schools is urgent and QZABs could play a key role. Earlier this month, another House committee passed the Rebuild America’s Schools Act, which would restore QZABs and create a grant program that targets high-poverty schools whose facilities are in dire need of modernization and upgrades as they pose health and safety risks to students and educators. Click here and tell your representatives to support the Rebuild America’s Schools Act.
2019 Dream Act could be introduced this week
Two House committees held hearings on immigration-related issues as Congress prepared for introduction of the 2019 Dream Act, which could come as early as this week. In a letter to the Judiciary Committee, NEA stressed the need for a broad, inclusive bill encompassing participants in Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), people with Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and Dreamers — people brought to this country as children. The legislation must provide multiple pathways to citizenship and remain true to America’s values and history as a nation of immigrants, which means not arbitrarily helping some at the expense of others. Dreamers, DACA recipients, and TPS holders have lived with fear and uncertainty for too long. They deserve better.
Cheers and Jeers
Representatives Mark Pocan (D-WI), Glenn Thompson (R-PA), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), and Sam Graves (R-MO) urged members of the House to join them as cosponsors of the National Schools Week resolution in a “Dear Colleague” letter.
Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Patty Murray (D-WA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Susan Collins (R-ME) spoke out against Chad Readler’s nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) chaired a hearing on gun violence as a public health issue before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies.
Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Mike Rounds (D-SD) introduced the Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act (S. 684), which would repeal the Affordable Care Act’s excise tax on “high cost” employer-sponsored health coverage, scheduled to take effect in 2022. The bill has bipartisan support and 23 original cosponsors.