McConnell fails students and educators yet again
After coming back from a month-long vacation, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) failed last week to advance a “skinny” coronavirus relief package, leaving little time to regroup before the Senate adjourns until after the November elections. S. 178, the defeated bill, was an insult to the families that have lost loved ones to COVID-19, and to the many other families struggling to stay afloat. More than one-quarter of the language in the 300-page measure dealt with liability protections for businesses, workplaces, schools, and campuses, with scant attention paid to students and educators in public schools and college campuses. Instead, S. 178 would advance the failed privatization schemes of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos with voucher and voucher-like schemes that rob public schools of scarce resources and tax breaks to help well-off families pay private school tuition or homeschool.
The need for Senate action remains critical. NEA supports the HEROES Act, which includes $1 trillion in aid to state and local governments that could be used to preserve the jobs of educators and other essential public servants on the frontlines of the pandemic. Other top priorities 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, directed funding for personal protective equipment (PPE), and additional relief for student loan borrowers.
Four months have passed since the House passed the HEROES Act—four months of more sickness and death, escalating financial disarray, and rising personal hardship. During this period of inaction by the Senate, schools across the nation have reopened for in-person learning—often under pressure—without the resources to do so safely.
Email your senators and tell them to take action now.
Cheers and Jeers
Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and other Democratic senators called on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to take up the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act (S. 3912).
Senators who voted NO on S. 178, the “skinny” coronavirus relief package proposed by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Senators who voted YES on S. 178