The unprecedented rush to confirm the next Supreme Court justice has revealed a terrible truth about priorities: For the GOP’s Senate majority, reopening our schools safely and alleviating suffering from COVID-19—physical and financial—do not merit action while filling the vacancy on the Court does. Ironically, the push to install Justice Ginsburg’s successor began just as the nation surpassed the tragic milestone of 200,000 deaths from COVID-19.
NEA supports the HEROES Act passed by the House more than four months ago. We are calling for COVID-19 relief that includes at least $175 billion to stabilize education funding, including dedicated funding for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for students and educators. Other top priorities include additional relief for student loan borrowers and at least $4 billion in emergency funding to narrow the digital divide’s homework gap during the COVID-19 pandemic. As many as 16 million students—roughly 1 in 3—are unable to do schoolwork at home due to lack of internet access and devices. A disproportionate share of those students are Black, Hispanic, Indigenous, and live in rural areas or low-income households.
Email your senators and tell them to take action now.