Education News

Congress responds to educators’ calls for a COVID stimulus package that helps students and educators

Girl learning at home

By Amanda Menas

America’s public schools are the economic engines of tens of thousands of communities across the country, providing not only quality education for students, but also jobs and community-sustaining economic benefits for millions of professionals. As lawmakers pressed forward in drafting a stimulus package to address the COVID-19 crisis, it was clear they heard educators’ warning that school closures forced by the epidemic could bring terrible consequences for students, families and local economies.

Last night, the Senate by a 96-0 vote passed the $2.2 trillion relief package that includes more than $30 billion in emergency education funding. The House is expected to pass it Friday. Key provisions expand unemployment insurance for laid off workers, provide direct stimulus checks to households, and provide student loan relief.

“Our economy cannot rebound if we do not address the immediate health crisis and prioritize support for educators, students and their families. The bill is not perfect, but it does address many urgent needs of our students, educators and schools,” said NEA president Lily Eskelsen García.

Last week, Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, a good first step that helps ensure that the 20 million students who rely on school lunches won’t go hungry, and protects educators who continue to work to help students and families through this pandemic. 

NEA’s government relations team worked night and day to ensure the needs of students and educators were addressed in this bill. Thanks in part to the thousands of educators who reached out to their senators, this new legislation builds on the initial work to protect workers now, and once this is over. However, educators will not stop here. In the coming weeks, they will advocate for more funding to address the homework gap to help with distance learning, housing and food insecurity, and student loan cancelation.

Here are six of the measures NEA pushed for in this current bill before Congress:

Provides immediate stimulus checks to households

Congress will send up to $1,200 to most adults, and $500 per child depending on family income to shore up those especially in need during this crisis. Many educators and parents will benefit from this funding, which will aid in combating the inequities that are negatively impacting communities of color and other marginalized people.

Creates a fund to boost learning opportunities for students

An Education Stabilization Fund was created to help fill emerging budget gaps, get more money into schools and the potential to help states avoid laying off educators in preK-12 and higher education. This could allow public schools to continue paying hourly workers like education support professionals (ESPs), and campuses to continue paying adjunct and contingent faculty who may lose paychecks with school closures.

The inclusion in this bill of an education stabilization fund was essential, but Congress must understand that tens of billions dollars more will be needed to truly support all students, counter the learning loss happening through school closures and prevent educator layoffs. 

Cancels student loan payments for six months

Following the announcement that monthly payments would be suspended and interest rates dropped to 0 percent, the new legislation provides relief for federal student loan debt for six months. This gap will still count toward loan completion—including for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program — and provide some much-needed relief to educators and others faced with crushing debt. Individuals who receive student loan repayment assistance from their employers will also receive an income tax exclusion. While the suspension on student federal loan payments will aid many families struggling at this time, more could—and should—be done. 

Additional provisions were made related to campus-based aid, supplemental educational opportunity grants, subsidized loans, and foreign institutions. Students who are unable to complete federal work study jobs or academic semesters due to COVID-19 may be paid and receive Pell Grants where applicable.

Legislation proposed by House Democrats could further aid borrowers and eliminate debt for those with federal loans during this crisis.

Expands unemployment insurance

Education support professionals and adjunct faculty are among the many groups who will directly benefit from the bi-partisan legislation forwarded by Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Nancy Pelosi in this stimulus package. Unemployment insurance will be significantly extended and will provide an additional thirteen weeks for laid off workers, including those who are self-employed and the maximum unemployment insurance benefit will be raised by $600. 

Prevents housing instability and homelessness

As NEA advocated, Congress provided tens of billions to help prevent greater housing insecurity during this crisis by pausing action on any foreclosures due to failure to pay mortgages and providing funds for rental assistance. Funding will be provided to help minimize the number of people living in homeless encampments, to help prevent evictions, and expand shelters to alleviate crowding and reduce health risks for both people experiencing homelessness and outreach workers. Disaster Relief Funds, and grants for tribal housing were also included in the bill.

Educators across the country see that more needs to be done to protect students and school communities from the financial and emotional impacts of COVID-19. First and foremost, direct funding in the Education Stabilization Fund should be allocated to closing the “homework gap,” which impacts between 7 and 12 million K-12 students who do not have access to WiFi hotspots, connection devices, and mobile wireless service at home. These could all be provided by an existing and successful E-rate program, but telecommunication industry lobbyists got in the way.

NEA has advocated for the Federal Communications Commission to waive E-rate regulations, and provide $2 billion to help close the gap and provide funding for those in need. Distance learning is critical for students to maintain their studies, and the lack of assistance, especially for students with disabilities and those living in rural areas, is detrimental. 

Visit NEA’s Schools and Coronavirus to learn how fellow educators are ensuring the health and safety of their students and school communities.

144 responses to “Congress responds to educators’ calls for a COVID stimulus package that helps students and educators

  1. Will this second stimulus bill qualify teachers who are still employed from Choice Schools serving Zip codes 53206-53209 to get their mortgages and car notes paid 4 months?

  2. Thank you for that Jack! There was a reason for the hold-up on the part of the Democrats and the reason as you can see was a legitimate one! Cudos!

  3. We need to thank the Republicans for their strong support for the stimulus package, despite the Democrats holding up the legislation, hoping to add as much “pork” as they could.
    While the Democrats were busy creating diversion with the sham impeachment, and other Democratic leaders like Pelosi, Bill de Blasio, and others, encouraging “life as normal” — ride the subways, go to the parades, etc, — de Blasio claiming the virus was not that contagious — our President Trump was busy assembling a task force to tackle the CoronaVirus, and restricting entry to the U.S. from China (for which he was accused of being a bigot by the Dems). So thankful for the job Trump has been doing with a phenomenal team surrounding him, headed by VP Pence.

    I am tired of the NEA leadership claiming the Democrat Party is the party of the working class. It is no longer! The Clintons and Obamas were chums with Wall Street, and Joe Biden offered himself up as a pawn for the credit card companies. Trump has re-constructed the GOP, and it is the party now more concerned about the working class.
    He speaks their language and they understand.

    1. While most in the country are ‘paying it forward’ during this time of crisis by volunteering, cutting prices, offering discounts, etc., it’s not surprising to see our union with a ‘business as usual’ approach: ‘We want all of our money and we won’t do anything that isn’t in our contract!”

      Perhaps instead of blowhard political posturing, blaming other lobbyists for packing pork into the relief bill, and complaining that it isn’t enough and you want more, perhaps our union can step up by eliminating monthly union dues for 6 months. Put your (our) money where your mouth is.

      1. Paul, I totally agree with you! Eliminate monthly dues because right now teachers are educating from home, using their own supplies (paper, computer ink, etc.) Every little extra money will come in handy.

        1. I agree Sharon. They talk a good game, but where is the support on their part. I didn’t get paid yet and they took their monthly dues out of my account whick made it go negative. How are they helping by lobbying for help when they want their dues instead of eliminating them for 6 months.

  4. Those of you complaining about the Democrats holding up this bill, complaining about NEA supporting more D than R, praising fool Trump have no idea what you are talking about. Dems held up the GOP version and MADE IT BETTER. Here is what the Dems added to the bill—

    Vastly expanded unemployment benefits through June for anyone who’s lost income due to COVID-19.
    $100 billion for hospitals.
    A change in the “checks for everyone” program to insure that low-income workers get the full $1,200.
    Removal of a provision that would have excluded nonprofits that receive Medicaid funding from the small-business grants.
    A ban on the Trump family getting aid.
    Oversight on the corporate lending facility.
    $150 billion for state and local governments.
    $25 billion for food stamps.
    $30 billion for schools.
    You really think all this is BAD??? Give me a break.

    The GOP pretty much HATES public education and have for a long time. They bad mouth public education, teachers, teachers unions any chance they get. Two more words for you-BETSY DEVOS. She belongs nowhere near public education. Trump has done BUPKIS for public education.

    The arts funding in the bill was to keep places like the Kennedy Center up and running since they have lost and will continue to lose revenue due to the virus. Save your outrage for the parts of the bill that bails out billion dollar corporations.

    And lastly, the Senate passed it 96-0 and the House on a voice vote so both sides swallowed some bitter pills.

    1. Wow…you really drink the Kool-Aid Jack. The only thing the Democrats did was try to get more funding to kill babies, funding for the Green-New Deal, and other things that had nothing to do with helping people during these hard times. Thank you GOP and Trump for all you do.

      1. I hope you don’t educate kids. It doesn’t seem like anything has entered your brain that wasn’t already there in years. I guess folks like you don’t mind the babies who die because of Republican policies that hand out the bulk of our resources to those who already have so much.

    2. Your facts do not check out. The $ for hospitals, unemployment and other covid 19 related monies were already part of this bill. The Dems added nothing to that. They wanted to add voting provisions which would lead to fraud, abortion funding, and some other non covid 19 measures into the bill. They were able to negotiate the Kennedy Center. yes. I support the arts and understand the Center was severely affected by the pandemic. You irrationally accuse the GOP of “hatred” for the schools. No, the difference is they recognize that not all good schools are government schools. They want good quality education for ALL students and a family’s right to CHOOSE what is best for their student. You should listen to unbiased news once in a while and investigate for yourself before publicly posting next time.

  5. Amid all of the political talk I need to know if the relief for student loan debt includes Parent Plus Loans as well? I have 3 of them for 3 kids in school. That relief would be most welcomed.

  6. This was not a bill by Schumer and Pelosi. They tried to add a lot of things to the bill that had nothing to do with the virus, wasting a whole week away. American lives could have been saved and people would be getting their money faster if Schumer and Pelosi would have cared about the American people.

  7. I am retired after 47 years in public education. I agree that the concerns and needs expressed here are valid. But what is it with bashing the Democrats. In my time in public education I NEVER saw any help from RepubliCONs except when they were pushed into it by the Democrats. And pay attention to Mitch McConnell – no further stimulus help for the American people at all. This bill was it! And the Democrats said we need 2 more packages to aid the American people – and we do need them. So why assault the Democrats for getting what they could?

  8. “This gap will still count toward loan completion—including for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program — and provide some much-needed relief to educators and others faced with crushing debt.”

    From the FEDLOAN website: https://myfedloan.org/borrowers/covid
    “The time spent on the emergency administrative forbearance will not count toward your required payment count.”

    What am I missing? Is “loan completion” different from “required payment count”?

    1. I’m confused as well. I was under the impression the COVID-19 forbearance will NOT count towards forgiveness.

    2. Updated Info:

      From the Fed loan website:

      NEW: Will suspended payments count toward Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)?

      If you have a Direct Loan, were on a qualifying repayment plan prior to the suspension, and work full-time for a qualifying employer during the suspension, then you will receive credit toward PSLF for the period of suspension as though you made on-time monthly payments.

    1. Why was I dismayed that the article mentioned two democrats specifically?? My dismay quickly turned to disgust which is something I often have for NEA leadership’s political democrat strong leaning support. The two democrats came in at the 11th hours with pork and special interests holding up the relief bill. Sadly, some of those interests still made it in the final bill. Millions could have gone to those truly needing and deserving it. The dems claim to be anti-big business getting relief monies but these “needy” arts programs are similar big businesses.

      1. Agreed! I also stumbled when reading about the two radical Democrats. I back peddled and reread it omitting their names. NEA please stop pushing the democrat rhetoric. Many Undecided’s and those unwilling to be bullied into the radical Democrat agenda, can see right through your push and turn to your opposite party. I am happy to see I am in similar company as Ms. Berger, and fully agree.

      2. Just think of all the wasted money that politically correct common core took…and was a nightmare to try to teach, taking all individual teacher creativity out and putting in hours of computer score drudgery and less love for our Constitution. A Democrat project with lots of $ kickbacks !!

      3. I don’t understand your “dismay” and “disgust” at the mention of two Democrats. As you know it’s the Democratic party that supports Unions all across the nation. Had it been Trump’s name mentioned would you have been as “dismayed”? Also, Pelosi’s hold up of the bill was primarily due to unemployment expansion and homelessness relief. As for the arts every child needs an opportunity to exploit their individualized potential. We are not all made to pursue conventional academic degrees. We need artists in the world. What’s the matter, don’t you listen to music, watch films, go to the theater or visit museums? Perhaps you should.

      4. You are so right about the additions made by the Democrats. This bill should have been ONLY about the needs created by this pandemic. It is typical of both parties to add unrelated items to bills but this is one time it should not have been done. The arts programs such as the Kennedy Center receive huge donations and endowments. I can’t wait to see what Nancy Pelosi will try to stuff into the next bill.

      1. Mikayla, the Democrats are definitely fighting to make it worse. We can start with Common Core, which was a waste of money and made education worse. We can also talk about how Obama and his cronies lied to us about how we won’t be teaching to the test anymore and we can be more creative now. Well, what’s the truth. We are teaching to the test more than we ever have. Democrats don’t know how to do anything for the people anymore. They use to be the best party that fought for the people. Obama has turned them into a party that does whatever is the most radical and bizarre.

    2. So true. I can’t stand that I pay money into an association that is very clearly democratic in nature. I want advocates for educators and students, not more politicizing with my dollar. I would never support some of the agendas they push for.

    3. Yes, I really am fed up with the partisanship this organization displays. Maybe it is time to leave this organization and spend my dues money on the politics I agree with.

  9. What they neglected to mention in regards to suspending student loan repayments is that it only applies to loans that are owned by the Department of Education. Unfortunately, most student loans were old to private entities like Navient who is only allowing a 3 month forbearance that acrues interest for most of the loans. In order to receive that forbearance, one has to call in and ask for it. But I’m sure that’s because DeVos didn’t want any of her friends to miss out on still being able to collect $$$.

  10. I agree NEA needs to give appreciation where it is due, to the republications, The Democrats tried to add and did add things that are not necessary for this cause and had nothing to do with helping during this pandemic. Also how will this stimulus affected those that are retired, while meds and the cost of other necessary things to live prices go up?

    1. No matter what side you are on. There should be some common ground. Right now unity and coming together for our students because that is who hurting right now. School was a safe haven for majority of our students. I am a parent and a educator. I see it from both sides. Not everyone is fortunate to have good education. Majority of our students are watching siblings, and not able to do certain things than the fortunate. I commend the parents for the support that they have shown and willing to help the other students in my class. Being a voice for the voiceless. Our focus should be on our students at this time and to help as much we can. We have to reassure things will be alright.

    2. Totally agree with you. I’ve always had issues with the Democratic leaning against attitudes of the NEA and down.
      And what is the view of STRS regarding I retired teachers get help from the new bill passed?

    3. The expansion to unemployment benefits and aid to avoid massive homelessness was part of the Democratic proposal. That’s why it was held up. Secondly, people living on Social Security, a program the Republicans are desperately trying to do away with and a lifeline for our elderly, will now be able to receive the 1200 per person as part of the stimulus package. Pelosi and her colleagues are also ardently pushing to expand those benefits, because no one can live on Social Security benefits as a main income and sadly, that’s what most elderly without family to help support them are facing. Those lucky enough to have family support use their money precisely for meds, deductibles, ets.

        1. And you’re not at all brainwashed by FOX? Give me a break!!! And, while you’re at it, it would be great if you and your friends would stop using this as a platform to blast us all with YOUR political beliefs. The best use of this platform is questions that are on point. Otherwise, please keep your venom to yourself – you’re not helping anyone.
          Please, please, please stop!

  11. Well said Beverly. I agree with you. I think that many of us a preschool teachers are regarded as babysitters and this is not just the viewpoint of the community, is pretty much the opinion of school administrators as well. I hope that with this pandemic many open their eyes of many and see that we do contribute to the education Foundation of children at early stages.

    1. Democrats need to quit playing games with our lives. Trump has done an incredible job, especially since this started at the same time as the Impeachment Hoax was going on. There is hardly a person that would have any energy left, much less somebody in their 70s. Democrats continue to show they don’t care about America with all their games.

      1. John, your perspective is clueless and devoid of common sense. Trump is in denial of reality or empathy for the common man. We need some love and help to recover from the covid-19 natural disaster. Just a reminder…Trump initially called the pandemic a hoax…once again completely clueless.

      2. Thank you for your comment.. I’m sick of the political games and the House Leadership proved one more time their true feelings for working class Americans.. millions to a museum.. what is that but a padded pocket with a promise.. disgusted ..

      3. Republicans and Democrats and many of our societies leaders have their day in the “court of the people” soon. None of them deserve praise. All of them deserve contempt. 200, 000 people will die because all of them were unprepared.

      4. Your comments are unsubstantiated. Please, if you are going to express your opinion give “facts” and “proof” to back up your claims. This is not a forum for “fluff” and “hi hails” for the Republican party who is currently playing with all of our lives. From the onset of COVID-19 we have been lied to “AGAIN”, downplaying the catastrophe for an entire 10 days. If you haven’t been reading the news, 10 days can cost us 10,000 lives. And correct me if I’m wrong, wasn’t the dismantling of the U.S. Pandemic Research Program one of the first things to go when the current administration took over. We were caught with our pants down and have lost over 5,000 lives in the U.S. and haven’t hit the peak yet. Now Trump hands out $1200 as a campaign strategy because he understand the marketing appeal behind handing out CASH. An idea by the way he stole from Andrew Yang a Democratic candidate earlier this year. Twelve hundred dollars doesn’t even pay one month’s rent or mortgage. Although I’ll take it. Lord knows as part of the middle-class we “never” receive anything from the government. Especially huge tax breaks or government assistance.

      5. An incredible job of not heeding science and health experts. An incredible job of blaming others and belittling journalists. An incredible job of speaking without thinking.

      6. All the communists from California are chiming in on these comments. California and New York are the main ones drinking the Kool-Aid. Trump banned Air Travel from Asia after the first case. While it took Obama a year to react to the swine flu. Trump was called a racist and homophobic for saving hundreds of thousands of lives. He was on it from the start. Of course you would not know that if you are busy being brainwashed by the liberal media. It is the liberal politicians that were playing it all down, including the mayor of NYC and governor of NY, while Trump was banning Travel and putting together teams. Go do some research before you recite what you have been brainwashed with. Obama and New York were told to restock all their masks and venilators after the outbreaks during his term. He didn’t do that. Obama left our country in a mess and New York left their state in a mess by not preparing for the next emergency outbreak. The liberals want to blame Trump for their own problems. Biden is a bumbling fool, which is one reason the liberal media is lying even more than usual. That is the only chance Biden has, is for the liberal media to continue to feed their sheep. Thank you Trump for saving so many lives.

      7. So Bill Clinton should have been impeached for lying to Congress but Trump shouldn’t have been impeached for inviting a foreign government to interfere in our elections? Both are direct offenses under the Constitution. The big difference in the outcome was that Clinton accepted responsibility and apologized to Congress and the American public. Trump very clearly said that he didn’t see it as a problem and would do it all again.
        None of it was a “hoax,” if you even know what the term means.
        Please stop posting your venom and diatribes. You’re not being helpful in this situation at all.

  12. All good news; but I was disheartened to see NEA using this as a plug for 2 Democrats. I believe this was done by both parties. Over the past 40+ years I have been amazed at how blindly NEA ALWAYS supports Democrats even though my biggest raises have happened when Republicans are in office because the country’s economy is doing better. Consistently tax raises, lowering my take home pay, have come from Democrats. I think I give up enough in taxes now. Democrats need to stop coming up with more ways to spend MORE of my money and do more reallocating of the money they now get from us.

    1. You are so right Terry. I agree that the NEA mostly supports Democrats. Both parties are working very hard during this critical time. Nancy Pelosi held back for over a week in pursuing the stimulus package to go forward.

      1. She held up the passing of the bill because she was trying to expand crucial programs such as unemployment, which she accomplished and allowing Social Security benefactors to receive the $1200 stimulus as well, which the Dems were also successful in including. She wasn’t playing bi-partisan games as Fox would have America believe.

        1. Terry, Your comments are right on!
          NEA continues the Dem agenda in a Radical Liberal way. As you can see in the numerous posts, Ms. Santos, people don’t believe the Radical Dems and how they twist things. Most keep quiet about it, but people block you out because your info is twisted. I’m happy that $1200 in funds that the Republicans put together was agreed to by the Dem majority, it may not be enough, but a start. Don’t twist it as a ‘campaign strategy’ and create fake news. The people want to get through this pandemic & I believe whole heartedly that our President & VP have worked behind the scenes before it was a blip on the Dems radar to do good for Americans.

    2. Agreed. Unfortunately, tax increases are the go-to “solution”. There is a disdain for opinions other than the liberal propaganda. Many of us do not agree.

    3. Agreed, Terry. Added to your comment, the Democrats don’t really support unions anymore. We really need a labor party.

    4. I’m someone who likes to give credit where credit is due. There should be credit to the Republican-controlled Senate for getting the legislation going, but also to the Democrat-controlled House for finishing it up. I’ll also give credit to both the Republicans and Democrats for including plenty of pork spending in the bill that served special interests on both sides. However, I do want to note that the economy did extremely well under President Clinton (a Democrat) and President Obama (a Democrat). People also received a 2% payroll tax deduction for the OASDI program during 2011 and 2012, which was during Obama’s term. Sure, the payroll tax reverted at the end of 2012, but none of the Republican-controlled legislative branches did anything to stop that, either. Trump might have given you a 2% or 3% payroll tax deduction with his 2018 tax package, but many Americans saw their taxes increase, and most Americans received less as a refund than they otherwise would have because of the limitation of state and local tax (SALT) deductions, the limitation of the mortgage interest deduction, the removal of personal exemptions, and more. None of us like taxes, but they are necessary. And if you’re following the NEA or getting NEA emails, there’s a high probability that you’re a teacher, and likely a public school teacher. Last time I checked, public schools are funded by taxes. Ultimately, I haven’t been a fan of how Nancy Pelosi has conducted herself, but she did “hold out”, and I think her seeking some changes in the law allowed her to obtain more supporters in the House, which aided in its passage. The House also faced a health crisis that was escalating more quickly than when the Senate was going over the bill, and I’m sure it was difficult to encourage people to return for a vote. In the end, I am proud of the Republicans and Democrats who did come together to get this done. Sometimes fast and in a hurry isn’t always best, and I think that we can all agree that this provides some much-needed relief in desperate times. Please, just do us all a favor and remember that the 2.2 trillion dollar price tag must be paid for someday, which will likely require a tax increase for everyone, and how will you respond when that time comes? Will you continue to support tremendous spending like this without your take-home pay being impacted in the future? I supported this bill with the expectation that taxes would likely have to be increased to pay for it in the future and to be consistent, I’ll remember times like this as being one of the reasons and I’ll keep in mind that taxes finance public education, which is not cheap, and nor should it be.

      1. Thank you Mr. Jones, very well said and to the point. Yes, public education is very important to all of us that teaches and also those who have children in the system.

    5. While the plug was evident and perhaps distasteful, I would have to support it regardless because only the Democrats support the Unions in this nation. Republicans have been chipping away at the unions for years. You should realize that the huge communication conglomerates such as the Verizon, to name one, has done way with their Union. The only union employees left are those people who started over 25 years ago. A huge part of the labor goes overseas to India and new employees come in with very little benefits. This is what the Democrats fight against, the dismantling of huge conglomerates and big corporations to give us safe labor, adequate health insurance, reasonable hours and adequate compensation so that we are not being stepped on and taken advantage of while companies are making BILLIONS of dollars off our backs. Most companies hiring today will have insurance that require you to pay in minimum $1500 towards your deductible, no “set” hours of work, one week vacation if you are hired under 1 year, and when you get 2 weeks, many companies are now asking you to stagger them and not take them consecutively. I have two children, one with a $120,000 student loan debt, and who face this situation every time they look for a new job. So unless you are looking for a job with a Union, this is what you are dealing with.

    6. I agree with you, Terry. Just let us know what the stimulus package DOES without the mention of WHO. NEA needs to realize this package was designed by numerous hard-working individuals on each side of the aisle.

    7. Well said!! I thought I was the only one fed up with NEA viewpoints. Reading through all of these comments, I am glad I’m not the only one.

  13. I understand that education is at the fore front of this pandemic and we are still reaching out to our students (Headstart students) but this is not mentioned one time. We do teach these 3 and 4 year old children just like any other student enrolled in school. We are not a babysitting service . These children are learning to read, write and are preparing them for P-K. So I don’t understand why when education is mention HEADSTART is never mentioned. Yes, we are a federally funded program but shed some light on this program as well.

  14. I agree; there is an education gap. Canceling loan debt AND creating greater access to the internet are crucial if we seek to support those in the pipeline to become teachers, and students who need to maintain contact with teachers.

    1. I agree; there is an education gap. Canceling loan debt AND creating greater access to the internet are crucial if we seek to support those in the pipeline to become teachers, and students who need to maintain contact with teachers.

    2. Having internet and appropriate educational tools at home are critical for “homeschooling” children! School districts and telecommunications companies should be working hand in hand to provide computers and internet access to families who need assistance. I also feel that internet prices should be lowered for a period of time, for families who have lost the ability to work due to employment loss from COVID 19.

      1. I am blessed to be in a community where we try to get free Chromebooks to every student. However, I fear that those families without internet will not get the same level of instruction during this pandemic as those with connected households. My coworkers and I are frantically trying to train and prepare for online teaching this week, as we plan to go LIVE next week. I teach my students to try new things and challenge themselves. It’s time to practice what I preach. But I worry about those who will be sitting home with no way to see what we have prepared for them.

    3. I agree with Mr. Laird.Canceling loan debt will help us to get teachers as well as to retain those that we have. Furthermore, teachers already in positions can take additional classes to become better educators, getting students more prepared for college and career readiness.

    4. The taxes many complain about are the fuel of social programs like food stamps and health care. So sad to see that fellow educators can’t see how many public school students and families benefit from the taxes they demonize. And local taxes pay our salaries, those of the police and firefighters.

  15. If anything, more funds needs to be allocated to provide technology and internet connection to students. Many, especially in schools that receive free and reduced lunches, have students that can afford a laptop and internet. Please make sure education is not cut, especially at this crucial time when we need all the resources at our disposal to continue to provide quality education.

    1. Rural areas of the United States have very slow internet
      Northeast Nebraska has one of the slowest internet speed ours constantly buffers.

      1. yes rural areas do have slow or no internet at all so how do we meet the needs of those of us that live in rural areas? and some of us live a while drive from town.

      2. This is definitely an issue in rural Arkansas. We we live, only satellite internet is available. I’m having to provide online instruction for 6 community college classes at the same time my kids are trying to do their daily AMI work. They need to Zoom with their teachers while I need to Zoom with my students. Many of my college students need better internet access, too. I’m emailing them daily trying to find ways to solve their problems and keep them current with their coursework.

    2. Even if some students have phones to do their work, their parents might be laid off, so keeping up with cell phone bills will be challenging for several families. Internet access is sometimes limited if it is an option at all.

    3. If anything, more funds needs to be allocated to provide technology and internet connection to students. Many, especially in schools that receive free and reduced lunches, have students that can afford a laptop and internet. Please make sure education is not cut, especially at this crucial time when we need all the resources at our disposal to continue to provide quality education.

  16. History shows how stories and written accounts helped us to understand events that were unbelievably horrific and those that gave us the reason to appreciate humanity. Public education continues that path of helping all people understand, learn, and have hope. Our Public Schools should never take a second seat to other interests again. It should be built up, become diverse enough to provide students with the skill sets to think and do, and not discriminate against any income level.

  17. Our students of today are the future of tomorrow. We need to invest in our future frontline, as well as todays. Please allocate much needed funding to our country’s most important resource, our students.

    1. Our students of today are the future of tomorrow. We need to invest in our future frontline, as well as todays. Please allocate much needed funding to our country’s most important resource, our students.

      1. Demetrice Bettis–You are nothing but a parrot for previous comments.. PLEASE put YOUR OWN thoughts in ply instead of parroting the previous comment.

  18. The concerns for students with internet access are real but there are also teachers who will be expected to deliver virtual instruction who do not have reliable internet access either. This is the case for even some teachers in western Maryland including my sister-in-law. Anything that can be done to facilitate online learning for both the students and the teachers should be pursued.

  19. Please listen to your principals and teachers so that all students and their families can be helped. We must help those in need during these stressful times. Stress can lead to violence. Please help to protect everyone, not just the wealthy.

    1. help those in need during these stressful times.
      Stress can lead to violence. Please help to protect everyone, not just the wealthy.
      Please listen to your principals and teachers so that all students and their families can be helped.

      1. Please think about the students in rural areas who need access to technology. Some have parents who have lost their jobs due to this pandemic. Just feeding their children and trying to get their basic needs met is a struggle. Also, help the staff members, such as teacher assistants and custodians who are not getting paid at this time. Please find a way to help ALL families.

    2. I am currently trying to teach students online. Many parents are also working from and with only device and one phone makes it really difficult for everyone to participate in their daily work. I talked to a mother who said she handles conference calls over the phone and does required paperwork on the computer which lives no room for educational time online for all her three children. She said she is finding it difficult to find the balance. Please find the funds so I can Zoom with all my students. Internet, hotspots, and connections are critical and companies need to come on board to help facilitate them for free and everyone that is connected to make it work should do so without hesitation. We are in time of crisis worldwide- nothing is guaranteed so us playing our part is vital to our community and future.

  20. First and foremost, direct funding in the Education Stabilization Fund should be allocated to closing the “homework gap,” which impacts between 7 and 12 million K-12 students who do not have access to WiFi hotspots, connection devices, and mobile wireless service at home. These could all be provided by an existing and successful E-rate program, but

    1. I am also aware of how many families do not have internet access, this is a need for students to learn and stay connected with teachers and schools.

  21. We need to provide as much support as possible for education with financial support for families providing an environment at home in which technology can be used to continue the educational process.

    1. Public education is not the place to cut funds. We need money to educate our children, and to also feed them.

  22. Please ensure that we find education in this new technological environment. Without educators to guide the process, our parents will be lost and our children disheartened. During this dark and critical time in our nation’s history, we will want to look back and say we did the right thing to provide children with the instruction and resources that they need to have some sort of normalcy and consolation. Please don’t take this one comfort away!

  23. All anyone does is pretend education was so wonderful before the Trump administration. I have been teaching for over 20 years and this is the first administration that didn’t tie funding to some terrible agenda such as No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top. These were blackmailing tactics to secure that the federal government was intertwined in public schools. Before NCLB, none of this existed and with our current administration no blackmailing tactic has been used. There is so much wrong with education but to act as if it started with our current administration proves how much media influences your beliefs.

  24. It is critical to maintain staffing for our public school during isolation with pay. Act humanly please! Our children depend on our public educators and the public education system for an education and title 1 funds.

  25. It is critical to maintain staffing for our public schools so that our children may return to the one secure site and persons with whom they are familiar within their community. Too many rely on Title One for their education and primary food source. Funding inessential to sustain healthy life during the pandemic.
    It is the Educational Support personnel who nurture, and educate our children, as well as support the teacher’s educational plan. Retaining them with pay while isolation continues is essential for their well being which directly affects our schools well being.
    Act humanity, please!!!!!!!!!

    1. No political agenda is more important than the health, well-being and education of the children of our nation. American politicians must act their conscience as often as needed on behalf of those who are the future of our country. It is our most precious and solemn obligation

    2. As an ESP and someone who voluntarily got certified as a behavior technician to provide trained special education supports, I have already seen that paraprofessional in my school are not being utilized in the online educational activity. It feels like I have been amputated. I know that when school is open we are relied upon and called to teach and emotionally support students. What’s going on here? There is a gap between teachers and ESP’s I’m seeing and it really concerns me. We are not being utilized. Why aren’t we included in providing online enrichment? And does that mean that there is an unspoken policy under which we will be the ones to lose pay or our jobs? I would like to know who to connect with nationally to begin a plan of action to address this gap and related concerns. We are all in this together aren’t we?

      1. This seems like a problem to address with your principal and your District’s Administration. Just like the Feds don’t have the authority to tell Governors how to legislate their states; they can’t and shouldn’t be in the position to tell your school district how to use its personnel. Advocate for yourself.

  26. Please this not the time for politics. We have to be united. Americans first and GOP and Dem doesn’t matter to those who have died or the families who are suffering. Unite now. T here will be plenty of time to campaign and fight for our causes. A crisiscis not the time to promote a agendas. It’s the moment to learn what we can do better, show the community that they come first not ideology or personal aspirations. Once the crisis is over is our goodwill that will persuade others to support our initiatives. God Bless you all. Be safe.

  27. All that Congress is doing to help public education during COVID-19 masks Trump’s budget which continues to cut education funding. Keep in mind that Trump’s choice program continues to push for vouchers and Charter Schools.

    1. We need to provide as much support as possible for education with financial support for families providing an environment at home in which technology can be used to continue the educational process.

      1. My granddaughter did not have $6-7,000 quoted to bring internet to her house. She discovered that each Massachusetts town has specified a provider to install internet to everyone. When she called Spectrum they were shocked that she knew that to be true & that they could not rip her off. With the family digging and installing 900 feet of cable up her drive, the cable company installer had her up & running for about $700.
        Wonder if towns in other states have that provision? And of course, we need to inform families so they can get past the false baloney when they call to request the service.

    2. Please this not the time for politics. We have to be united. Americans first and GOP and Dem doesn’t matter to those who have died or the families who are suffering. Unite now. T here will be plenty of time to campaign and fight for our causes. A crisiscis not the time to promote a agendas. It’s the moment to learn what we can do better, show the community that they come first not ideology or personal aspirations. Once the crisis is over is our goodwill that will persuade others to support our initiatives. God Bless you all. Be safe.

    3. Public education is not a place to cut funds, our students are financially in need.
      Teachers need the tools they need to educate our kids. Our school needs the money to access technology and tools to support our students.

  28. Will or could we add relief for childcare/preschool centers to our requests? Especially for those centers already in existence whether they be public or private.

  29. I can see how technological companies would like to take advantage of this situation , so handing sealed packages to each child is the remedy. These can be dropped off at their school where upon being sprayed with hydrogen peroxide they can be decontaminated. This is cheaper than giving out chrome books , plus teachers can give their students work where they left off. This would also serve as moral support when they see their teachers face. As a teacher i know best what my students need. Many of them do not even have cable this would put an extra burden on parents to provide cable. Some times the good old fashion way works!!!

    1. Please add on to the response sent by Edwin Quiles March 27, 2020 at 10:30 am Teachers should be the ones to hand out these packages as a team since some teachers’ immune system are compromised. I apologize for this inconvenience stress full times make people forget. Thank you be safe.

  30. NEA, There needs to be a concerted effort from all educators and others throughout the country to contact their congressmen and 2 senators that there must be needed funds to supply purchase electronics for students that cannot afford it.Thanks, Wayne Alt,Life-long NEA member

  31. They need to add private student loans also. I did not qualify for federal loans, so I had to got a private loan so I could become an educator.

    1. The lack of correct punctuation, grammar, spelling, and mechanics in these posts is sad. Want to vilify teachers? Then just provided a link to this website. Proofread!

      1. Everyone does not have the same education level or skills. However, they have a right to speak what’s on their heart. Go grade some old papers.

  32. WE Need to Help & Protect Children & Families, Workers & Elderly
    WE Need to Look After Our World & Each Other
    Now
    Is A Good Time to Start
    To Continue
    To GO Forward
    Intrepidly
    w/ Abilities to Respond

  33. A Good Start
    So Far So Fine
    WE Need to Recover
    WE Need to Recover Our Earth Our Environment
    WE Must Respond to Science to Sustain People & All Life On This Living Planet
    Physical Distance
    SOCIAL CLOSENESS

  34. I s awwww m a teacher and my husband is an aide. He just found out that his position will only be paid until April 30. We do not make more than $150,000 per year. Will we receive any stimulus money or unemployment for him?

  35. Thank you for helping the comunity i dont know if i spelled right lol 😁 i truely aprectiate what you have done for the people of the united states i hope to see a change for the world one day for the better.

  36. I think that it is embarrassing that our government allows businesses to make profits rather than provide free access to the internet which our students need right now. Some students don’t even have a computer in their household. With the taxes we pay, surely there should be enough for each student to have their own laptop for school work.

    1. Unfortunately, the “stimulus” money is just a loan from our next year’s tax return. It will be deducted from what we get next year. It will help in the short term, but we will feel it next year.

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