The Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) assures that children with disabilities receive a free, appropriate public education. When Congress passed the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA), it promised the federal government would pay 40% of special education costs.
The federal share of IDEA has fallen to less than 14%, the lowest level since 2001. Email your representatives and tell them to cosponsor and support the IDEA Full Funding Act (S. 866/H.R. 1878).
Now that the House has passed the American Dream and Promise Act (H.R. 6), the ball is in the Senate’s court. S. 874 and S. 879 provide a pathway to citizenship—and certainty—for Dreamers brought to this country as minors, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, and people granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for humanitarian reasons—populations that including tens of thousands of educators in our classrooms.
Email your senators and tell them to support the Dream Act of 2019 (S. 874) and the Safe Environment from Countries Under Repression and Emergency Act (S. 879)
The Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act of 2019 (S. 684/H.R. 748) would repeal the 40 percent excise tax on employer-sponsored “high cost” health coverage scheduled to take effect in 2022.
Email your representatives and tell them to support the Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act.
The full House is expected to vote on the Labor-HHS-Education funding bill the week of June 10. The bill would increase the overall federal investment in education by $4.4 billion or 6 percent in FY2020.
Email your representatives and tell them to increase education funding
The Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act expired in 2015. Since then, funding has been inconsistent. As a result, rural areas across the United States face budgetary shortfalls that could force big cuts in public education and other essential community services.
Email your representatives and tell them to put the SRS program on a firm financial footing.
The ESP Family Leave Act (S. 1401) updates the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), so that more education support professionals (ESPs) can access benefits without risking their jobs. ESPs who work only during the school year or less than eight hours a day often struggle to clear the FMLA’s 1,250 hours of service threshold.
Email your senators and urge them to support the ESP Family Leave Act (S. 1401).
Students suffering from mental health issues and emotional disorders often lack access to the services and professionals in their schools that could help them deal with these life-altering conditions.
The Mental Health Services for Students Act of 2019, H.R. 1109 and S. 1122, would increase access to vital services and support. Email members of Congress and urge them to support mental health services.
The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA), which operates domestic schools on 14 military installations, is forcing educators to work 24 additional, unpaid hours in each academic quarter.
DoDEA’s actions are denying the children of military personnel the support they deserve, and creating havoc for educators who must struggle to find last-minute childcare and make other adjustments.
Demand that DoDEA management support its educators in the vital work they do for military families rather than degrade the learning environment for military connected students.”
Email your members of Congress and demand fair treatment for educators on military bases.
School food service workers serve millions of meals each day, providing healthy, nutritious foods that fuel students’ minds and bodies. Yet, many of these professionals don’t have access to the training they need for this important work.
The Improving Training for School Food Service Workers Act would help make training available that maximizes hands-on opportunities during regular, paid working hours. Email members of the House of Representatives and ask them to co-sponsor the Improving Training for School Food Service Workers Act.
The Keep Our PACT Act, introduced by Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Representative Susie Lee (D-NV), would ensure that education is a priority in the federal budget.
The Keep Our PACT Act would create a mandatory 10-year path to fully funding both Title I and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Email your members of Congress and tell them to cosponsor and support the Keep Our PACT Act.
Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-CT), the 2016 National Teacher of the Year, and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), introduced identical resolutions (H. Res. 231/S. Res. 110) saying federal funds should NOT be used to train or arm educators.
A March 2018 Gallup poll that found 73% of our teachers do NOT want to carry guns in school. Email your members of Congress and tell them to cosponsor and support H. Res. 231 and S. Res. 110.
The Voting Rights Advancement Act would once again require states and localities with recent histories of voter discrimination to seek approval from the U.S. Department of Justice before making any changes in their election laws.
Help ensure all Americans can exercise their right to vote. Email your members of Congress and urge them to support the Voting Rights Advancement Act.
More than half the states in the U.S. lack fully inclusive non-discrimination protections, leaving millions of people subject to potential discrimination in their daily lives.
For LGBTQ individuals, this could mean that the laws governing fairness in housing, employment, and other rights could be denied them.
Meanwhile, LGBTQ youth are more likely than their peers to be bullied and harassed and attempt suicide. Passing the Equality Act will help educators cultivate nurturing and supportive school environments where LGBTQ student experience a greater sense of acceptance and safety.
Email your SENATORS and urge them to support the Equality Act (S. 788).
Expanding background checks to close gun sales loopholes is a first step to keeping schools and communities safe from gun violence. Firearms are the leading cause of death for African American children and the second leading cause of death for all American children.
We need to do more to keep guns away from people who will use them to cause harm. Email your senators and urge them to support the Background Check Expansion Act.
The Raise the Wage Act gradually increases the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour in 2024. Forty million Americans—nearly 30 percent of the workforce—would benefit from the increase, including many education support professionals essential the daily operation of our schools.
The federal minimum wage hasn’t gone up for 10 years. Email your members of Congress and urge them to support the Raise the Wage Act.
Women still earn just 80 cents for every dollar earned by men, with women of color receiving even less.
Ensure that women get equal pay for equal work. Email your members of Congress and urge them to support the Paycheck Fairness Act.
The Social Security Fairness Act would repeal the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) that unfairly deprive 2.5 million Americans of the Social Security benefits they have earned—educators, police officers, firefighters, and other employees of state and local governments who dedicate their lives to public service.
Hard-working Americans deserve the benefits they’ve earned. Email your members of Congress and tell them to cosponsor and support the Social Security Fairness Act.
The Social Security 2100 Act would increase benefits across the board, calculate annual cost-of-living adjustments for seniors more accurately, and increase the minimum benefit to ensure that low-earning workers do not retire into poverty.
Strengthen Social Security and put it on a firm financial footing. Email your members of Congress and tell them to support the Social Security 2100 Act.
The Rebuild America's Schools Act would create a $70 billion grant program and $30 billion tax-credit bond program that targets high-poverty schools whose facilities pose health and safety risks to students and staff.
The poor condition of public school buildings is undermining students’ learning. Email your members of Congress and tell them to support the Rebuild America’s Schools Act.
Taxpayer dollars should go to the public schools that educate 9 out of 10 Americans, not private schools that can pick and choose their students based on economic status, academic achievement, or even gender.
No matter what they’re called, vouchers rob public schools of resources. Email your members of Congress and tell them to reject Betsy DeVos’ latest voucher scheme, the so-called Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act (H.R. 1434/S. 634).