The Build Back Better Act passed the House 220-211 on Friday. As NEA said in a letter urging representatives to VOTE YES on the bill, “America is at a historic juncture. We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity—a chance for meaningful action on long-ignored challenges—giving all children a strong start in early education, making child care more affordable, expanding affordable health care coverage, and more.”
“No matter what we look like or where we’re from, everyone deserves a shot at the American dream. But for too many working families, the American dream just gets farther and farther away from them,” NEA President Becky Pringle said in a statement in which educators shared in their own words what the Build Back Better Act could mean for early childhood education, healthy school meals, paid family leave, addressing the chronic educator shortage, and securing protections for immigrants.
The House-passed bill includes universal preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds; takes important steps to make child care and college more affordable; expands access to free school meals; extends the child tax credit that has cut child poverty in half; and provides more resources for educator recruitment and retention, HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions, and the E-Rate program. It would also make the single largest investment in affordable housing in U.S. history; increase access to affordable health coverage; and provide temporary protection and employment authorization for an estimated 7 million undocumented immigrants.
The bill now goes to the Senate. The sooner the Senate acts, the sooner this landmark legislation can bring benefits to our students, educators, families, and communities.
Tell Congress to pass the Build Back Better Act