EdAction in Congress

EdAction in Congress September 20, 2020

NEA mourns passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

“Justice Ginsburg was a woman, teacher and tenacious fighter for equal rights for women and girls. Her loss is mNEA mourns passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburgore than a seat on the nine-justice Supreme Court; her loss is devastating and will be felt for generations. NEA members will honor her legacy by redoubling our efforts to fight for justice,” said NEA President Becky Pringle in a statement. Read more.

Strength in Diversity Act passes House with bipartisan support

The Strength in Diversity Act passed the House with bipartisan support by a vote of 248-167. The bill provides federal grants to support voluntary local efforts to increase racial and socioeconomic diversity—for example, expanding innovative programs that attract students from outside the local area and recruiting, hiring, and training educators for such programs. The legislation can also be used to fund collaborative programs by districts, recognizing that segregation occurs across district lines.

Most schools with majority Black, brown, Indigenous or poor populations do not have the resources to provide a broad and rich curriculum, including advanced courses and extracurricular programs that stimulate and engage students. The Strength in Diversity Act would help address this issue by taking concrete steps to encourage diversity. Students should not be educated in bubbles that expose them only to those who look like them, and whose backgrounds and experiences mirror their own. TAKE ACTION

Pregnant Workers Fairness Act garners bipartisan support

With bipartisan support, the House passed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act by a vote of 329-73. The bill would create a uniform national standard for reasonable accommodations for pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions. Such accommodations reduce health risks for women and their babies while helping employers reduce turnover and lost productivity. More than three-quarters of women—half the American workforce and nearly 80 percent of educators—will be pregnant and employed at some point in their lives. No one should be forced to choose between a paycheck and a healthy pregnancy. TAKE ACTION

Cheers and Jeers

21 Republicans joined all Democrats present in voting YES on the Strength in Diversity Act.


73 Republicans joined all Democrats present in voting YES on the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.


Reps. Don Bacon (R-NE), John Katko (R-NY), and Brian  Fitzpatrick (R-PA) voted YES on the NEA-supported Equity and Inclusion Enforcement Act, along with 229 Democrats.

14 Republicans joined all Democrats present in voting YES on H. Res. 908, “Condemning all forms of anti-Asian sentiment as related to COVID 19,” which was introduced by Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY).

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) introduced a resolution that calls on President Trump to cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt for each federal borrower to provide relief during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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