To help schools and colleges reopen safely this fall, retiring Senate HELP Committee Chair Lamar Alexander (R-TN) is calling on the federal government to provide additional funding—though not nearly as much as educators have sought. “The surest step back to normalcy in our country is when 70-75 million college and high school and elementary school students go back to school,” he said. “If we need more money for that, I’m for that.” This support is helpful and a signal that educators’ advocacy is having an impact. But to move anything forward soon, many more Republican senators will need to put pressure on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
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. LEARN MORE
Email your senators and tell them to take action to reopen schools and campuses safely and save educators’ jobs.