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HELP Committee chair calls for federal aid to help schools reopen safely

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.

37 responses to “HELP Committee chair calls for federal aid to help schools reopen safely

  1. All lives do matter. We have lived in the “land of the free and home of the brave”.
    Our children should have this good health and education as well.
    If we need federal and state funding to educate and keep our children safe and healthy, we must Respond to their needs.

  2. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all road map for schools looking to bring students back to school in the fall but one thing is needed and that is funding that allows districts to be able to reach ALL students. Fund our schools and keep our students and staff safe!

  3. If we are to open our schools safely we need extra funds to make it happen. Please support our schools with enough funds to keep all safe. That includes the students, all staff involved in helping our students get to school, learn in a clean and safe environment, feed our students, and get our students home safely. We will have some parents who are not comfortable sending their kids to school, so we need funds to support a hybrid structure. Please fund our schools sufficiently, in doing so you’re helping to securing the future of the United States of America!

  4. These young people who are in need of a complete and comprehensive education are our future leaders who will be responsible for the future of our planet. We owe them the best education we can give them.

  5. We must take action to keep our school strong by funding schools, opening safety and saving educators positions.

    1. Please help keep schools safe to reopen by providing enough funding for PPE and extra staff.
      Thank you

  6. Fund schools with the resources, PPE and mental health counselors that students will need to reopen schools.

    1. As a teacher of students with special needs, NOW is the time to ensure that they have the teachers, materials, and quality learning experiences that they need! Remote learning has been impossible for some families, who are struggling with job losses, illness and death due to Covid-19, and lack of Internet access.This has created learning deficits which teachers are planning for, in order to implement catch-up strategies in both Summer school and when we return to school. Now IS NOT THE TIME to pull resources from school budgets! After teaching in the Bronx for 12 years, my question is still the same, “Why do my young scholars deserve LESS than your children?”

      1. Teachers do so much in the classrooms. To keep masks on kids, them socially distanced and the room and hands disinfected is a huge responsibility.
        Proper funding is needed under any circumstances.

    2. In order for students, and staff to safely go back to school a lot more money will be needed for PPE and more staff. Please fund schools to make this happen.
      Thank you

  7. Every single classroom in the country needs to be supplied with sanitizer, wipes, masks, gloves, etc so that teachers do not need to be put in a hunger games type situation competing for and possibly putting selves at risk providing these materials for their own classes. Teachers should not be personally paying for basic hygiene supplies either. If the country cannot provide this for each and every classroom in each and every public school, then schools are not ready to open in the US.

  8. Fund our schools across the country so we can protect our students and teachers from getting ill from the Coronavirus Pandemic.

    1. As a teacher of students with special needs, NOW is the time to ensure that they have the teachers, materials, and quality learning experiences that they need! Remote learning has been impossible for some families, who are struggling with job losses, illness and death due to Covid-19, and lack of Internet access.This has created learning deficits which teachers are planning for, in order to implement catch-up strategies in both Summer school and when we return to school. Now IS NOT THE TIME to pull resources from school budgets! After teaching in the Bronx for 12 years, my question is still the same, “Why do my young scholars deserve LESS than your children?”

  9. The country needs to help those students who do not have internet access in case the actual classroom attendance is not successful. This should be a national mandate!

  10. I have grandchildren who are school age and I, like all other parents & grandparents, want them to have the best and most effective education possible to help them be successful & productive in life. Being a retired teacher, I tried to do that the best way I could with what resources I possessed. We have been behind the rest of the world for so long; it’s time to move forward. Time & things (world) are changing so we (as a nation) need to try and catch to them.

    1. Please make it safe for us that when we go back we don’t have to worry about getting sick do it the right way and it will be done

  11. Educators are in no way capable of doing two jobs-teaching in school and online simultaneously. There will need to be extra support staff, to tutor, deal with social-emotional learning, and supporting school nurses to keep ill students separate from regular health office traffic. Materials like PPE and plexiglass are necessary throughout buildings. Right now, jobs and hours are being cut! It HAS TO BE RECTIFIED FOR THE FUTURE OF OUR NATION!! Our students need to learn-all students and staff must not be subject to political warfare and be put in harms way!

  12. The benefits of well-educated students are all well known. If we are to improve our economy when it comes back, if we are to have people who can help us plan for another pandemic, If we need more nurses, doctors, and health care workers, it all starts with our educational system. These are national needs, and the nation needs to put our tax dollars to service our children and families, and not large corporation who do not need the help.

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