House set to vote on COVID-19 package

The House Budget Committee has pulled together committee-approved components of President Biden’s COVID-19 package, creating a single bill that will come to the House floor this week; action could continue through the weekend. The Senate plans to take up the House-passed bill the week of March 1. Democrats are pushing to enact the legislation before March 14, when unemployment benefits for more than 11 million workers begin to expire.

The current House bill includes NEA’s top priorities: $170 billion in dedicated education funding to help advance the process of safely returning to in-person instruction at K-12 public school buildings, college campuses and universities; $350 billion in state and local aid to avoid further layoffs of educators and other essential public servants; and $7 billion to address an aspect of the digital divide known as the homework gap—the inability to do schoolwork at home due to lack of internet access—via the E-Rate program administered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

NEA is also pushing to require all employers to provide paid sick leave for the duration of the pandemic. Sixty percent of U.S. workers do not have access to paid sick leave through their employers, including many education support professionals.

Urge Congress to pass the American Rescue Plan, with $210 billion to ensure safe and just schools for all students—from kindergarten to college. 

40 responses to “House set to vote on COVID-19 package

  1. …and justice for all. Public education is how we get there. Let’s support public education in every way possible…and anything, and everything is possible.

  2. I hope raising the minimum wage is part of this package. It would be invaluable to the success of my community college students.

  3. In-person classes have been successful in Kerrville, Texas. High community spread rate was not reflected in schools with masked & distanced students/teachers.

  4. If you have ever been in a classroom, you would know that classrooms are not designed for a few people to work and things have to be done to make them safer for distance learning as well as making the classroom have more suitable quality of air to breathe. I taught school for 35 years and I can tell you there were times when I had 35-40 students in the classroom. I sometimes did not have a window in the room. It was a rarity to have an air-conditioned room. Money has to be spent to make classrooms more conducive to learning and be healthy at the same time. When are we really going to consider the teachers and their health. I love teaching, but do not blame teachers who want health considerations for them as well as their students. Give them the vaccines first! They are essential workers! They take care of our kids and want them to learn.

    1. Yes! The air conditioning system in the public high school where I work is constantly breaking down! On hot days, we are sweltering in the classrooms.
      For three years I had to deal with raw sewage leaking into the air circulation system in the building.
      On top of that, our building is rodent infested, and I have had feces and urine falling onto my desk every day from the air intake panel above it.
      How am I supposed to trust the school district now, when they’ve never been reliable in the past?

    2. I have cystic fibrosis and have had a double lung transplant. Why am I and others like me not at the top of the list!

    3. I taught in public schools also. I had to retire due to my lung transplant and I’m an adjunct faculty at MTSU but still can’t get the vaccine.

  5. No public school employee should be required to return to a school building unless they are fully vaccinated. To do otherwise will put them, their students, and their families at risk. Vaccination of all school employees is a vital and essential step that must occur before education in America returns to normal activities.

  6. Our teachers and all school staff must be moved to top tier status as our medical workers were. All workers should be respected when they bring up safety concerns. The Federal and all state governments need to listen to all work place concerns and use some common sense. At least, we have someone in Washington DC who truly cares about American citizens and all workers.

  7. I just watched a segment on the CBS Morning Show that shows certain areas in some cities where it is not possible for a lot of people to get their vaccines because they are working & don’t have the luxury of standing in line during the day time hours.
    We should provide times for these people after 5pm to get their vaccines.
    Everyone is important!!!

  8. Safe return for students and staff boosts the economy and gets us closer to returning to normal pre-COVID 19 days.

  9. Educators and students need safe schools to return to. Vaccination, air systems, and the ability to follow CDC guidelines are necessary to make it possible.

  10. Do the right things to see to it that people are provided for in thier lives through all the distress they have endured throughout this pandemic. It has been way to much for people to deal with.

  11. Help our Students and Education Staff return to schools that are safe for them and their extended families and nearby communities !

  12. This Covid package is needed and is way pass due . People who were fully employed and self sufficient are going to Pantries for food and are about to loss their homes.
    People are also in need of Vaccines .
    Congress has to make this happen. We are the taxpayers and we choose to have our tax money used to help us to get back on our feet. Pass the Bill.

  13. Help our children and families even more by supporting Medicare For All, which would add coverage for dental, vision, hearing, mental health, & long term care. M4A would end medical debt, which is the #1 cause of bankruptcy in the nation. It would end the #1 cause of health disparities. It would stop the waste of $450 billion dollars (according to a Yale study published in The Lancet) or $650 billion (according to the Congressional Budget Office) every year.

  14. Please give NEA Texas members the option to not contact Ted Cruz in contacting members of Congress. He is a disgrace to Texas as a senator. Perhaps if our Texas membership consciously left him out of our Take Action emails while continuing to contact Senator John Cornyn and Rep. Joaquín Castro, he might take notice of how he has been left out because of his recent behavior.

    Ted Cruz is no friend to public school education and takes no action whatsoever to help anyone but instead to enrich himself on the public dime and to attempt to chase clout, as AOC–who did help Texans even though she does not represent Texas– has said.

  15. Any reasonable means needs to be instated to protect our children and those important adults who are working so hard to ensure a safe and productive learning environment. Please pass the relief package!
    Thank you.

  16. Our Public Education System needs Keep Running thru this Viral Pandemic, which Means that Our Teachers and Everyone Else on the Support Staff for Our Public Schools Should Be Move to the Top Tier of People Eligible to Be Vaccinated with Whatever Vaccinations become Available.

    1. As a retired educator who enjoys teaching and continues her passion by substituting, for the last year I haven’t been able to as I have medical reasons not to, until I get vaccinated. One would think if people wanted children back in schools, the priority would be to vaccinate all in the school community. I realize you can’t make people have a vaccination, however, I would hope the majority would, for the sake of others. Yes, let’s prioritize this.

  17. What is the matter with Congress? How much longer are they going to make us wait? Shame on anyone who does not pass this delinquent relief.

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