In testimony before the House Education and Labor Committee on June 15, NEA Vice President Becky Pringle stressed the urgent need for immediate action on the next coronavirus package. In just three months, nearly half a million public education jobs have been lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “If this damage goes unchecked, nearly 2 million educators—one-fifth of the workforce—could lose their jobs over the next three years,” she said. Pringle also talked about the impact on the most vulnerable, students of color, and those from low-income families.
More than a month ago, the House passed the HEROES Act, which would provide $915 billion in direct relief for state and local governments that can be used to pay vital workers such as educators and $90 billion in additional education funding that could save more than 800,000 education jobs. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has refused to take up the HEROES Act, claiming there’s no need for immediate action to address the mounting damage from COVID-19.
NEA’s priorities for the next coronavirus package include at least $175 billion to stabilize education funding, at least $4 billion to equip students with hot spots and devices to help narrow the digital divide and close the homework gap, at least $56 million in directed funding for personal protective equipment, relief for student loan borrowers, and at least $4 billion to protect voting rights and make voting by mail more widely available.
Email your senators and tell them to take action to reopen schools safely and save education jobs.