New COVID-19 Senate bill provides relief for students and educators
As Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) ignored the resurgence of COVID-19 and shut down the Senate for two weeks, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced the Coronavirus Child Care and Education Relief Act to help reopen schools and campuses safely and save educators’ jobs. The bill would provide $175 billion for K-12 schools, $132 billion for higher education, and $4 billion for the E-Rate program to help narrow the digital divide and close the homework gap—all NEA priorities.
The bill would also provide $12 billion for special education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and prevent Education Secretary Betsy DeVos from using taxpayer dollars for voucher schemes instead of the public schools that educate 9 out of 10 students, as Congress intended. Learn more about McConnell and his enablers—five senators standing in the way of helping public schools now. And tell your senators to push for immediate action on the next coronavirus package. TAKE ACTION
House votes to provide $130 billion for school modernization
By a vote of 233-188, the House passed the Moving Forward Act (H.R. 2), which now includes the Reopen and Rebuild America’s Schools Act that provides significant support for modernizing public schools. Specifically, the bill would create a $100 billion grant program that targets high-poverty schools and a $30 billion tax-credit bond program for repairing, renovating, and modernizing school facilities that pose health and safety risks to students and staff. It would also provide $5 billion in funding to help close the digital divide and equip more students to go online. Nationwide, as many as 12 million students—1 in 5—are unable to do schoolwork at home due to lack of internet access. Now it is time for the Senate to act. TAKE ACTION
Cheers and Jeers
Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Chris Smith (R-NJ), and Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ)voted for the Moving Forward Act (H.R. 2).
Sens. Ed Markey (D-MA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) filed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to ensure internet access for all K-12 students so they can do schoolwork at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) asked for unanimous consent to pass the bipartisan American Dream and Promise Act passed by the House more than 400 days ago. The bill would create a path to citizenship for Dreamers and immigrants with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED).
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) objected to Sen. Durbin’s unanimous consent request on behalf of Senate Republicans.