Protect Education Funding and Avoid Catastrophic Cutbacks
- Call 855-977-1770 to tell your state lawmaker to support a budget with no education cuts and no educator layoffs! Ask colleagues and parents to do the same.
- Email your U.S. senators (educationvotes.nea.org/covid-19). Tell them to pass the HEROES Act. Then ask colleagues and parents to email as well.
- Sign up to stay informed and ready to promote the Schools and Communities First initiative (schoolsandcommunitiesfirst.org) on the November ballot. Reclaiming $7 billion to $12 billion each year for schools and community services will be essential in weathering this COVID-19 storm.
- Learn more by viewing and sharing the TV ad created by CTA and the Education Coalition, at youtube.com/CaliforniaTeachers.
ESPs and other frontline educators need PPE
Go to NEA Education Votes (educationvotes.nea.org/covid-19). The next COVID-19 legislative package should include at least $56 million for personal protective equipment (PPE) for ESPs and educators in direct contact with students. They should be considered frontline workers whose jobs are essential, and that means having PPE to protect themselves, as well as their families and communities.
Stop DeVos’ use of COVID-19 to push privatization
U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the Trump administration are pushing privatization when the focus should be on massive state budget shortfalls caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and what they mean for the public schools that educate 9 out of 10 students. Congress must provide at least $175 billion more for the Education Stabilization Fund created by the CARES Act; the $30.7 billion authorized so far is not nearly enough.
Close the homework gap and narrow the digital divide
The coronavirus crisis has shone a spotlight on a long-standing inequity: the inability of 12 million students, including many of the most vulnerable, to do schoolwork at home due to lack of internet access. The Emergency Educational Connections Act (H.R. 6563) provides a $2 billion down payment for a special fund, administered by the Federal Communications Commission’s E-Rate program, to equip students with internet access. The Senate version provides $4 billion to support students for the duration of the 2020-21 school year.
Include student debt cancellation in COVID-19 relief efforts
The pandemic has had devastating effects on the health and economic security of families and individuals. As Congress considers additional legislation to help the millions who are suffering, measures to ease the burden of our nation’s 45 million student loan recipients should be included. The average educator begins a career with about $35,000 in student loan debt. The Student Debt Emergency Relief Act (H.R. 6363) would cancel at least $30,000 in outstanding student loan debt, boosting consumer spending and reducing the financial strain on educators and other borrowers