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Congress considers COVID relief bill – your voice of support is needed!

Advocacy update week of feb. 21

Over the next two-to-three weeks, Congress will consider a third wave of COVID-19 funding relief that will total $1.9 trillion and likely include:

  • $130 billion in additional funding for K-12 schools, which can be used for a multitude of purposes including cleaning/sanitizing schools, PPE and professional learning, and
  • $7 billion for devices, hotspots, and Internet access services to connect the upwards of 12 million students who lack Internet connectivity in their homes (termed the Homework Gap).

As you know, this funding is urgently needed to allow schools to reopen and to ensure that students who remain at home (because their schools continue to be remote-learning or hybrid-learning only or they have medical issues which prevent their return to in-person schooling) are able to access their classes. We need your help to get this bill across the finish line.

The House of Representatives is expected to take up and pass this legislative package as soon as Friday, February 26. By early March, we expect the bill to move to the Senate, where it is expected to go right to the floor. While Senate passage will only require 50 votes because this package is being done using an arcane legislative vehicle called budget reconciliation, it can still be amended.

We are concerned that some Senators may attempt to make changes to the education provisions, including eliminating significant portions of the funding or conditioning school district receipt of funds on physical school reopening. Learning Forward would strongly prefer that the current package pass “as is” without any controversial amendments.

What You Can Do Right Now

Call, e-mail, text, tweet, or message your Senators and Representatives and tell them to support students and educators by approving without further amendment $130 billion for general K-12 COVID relief and $7 billion for the homework gap in the forthcoming Budget Reconciliation Bill.

Congrats to (soon-to-be) Secretary Cardona

March 5, 2021: Learning Forward sent the welcome letter below to the new Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, in partnership with Learning Forward Connecticut. We look forward to more opportunities to connect with the new Secretary and his staff to offer our support in ensuring high-quality professional learning plays a critical role in the Department’s agenda to ensure all students experience equity and excellence in schools across the U.S. Read more ->

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Melinda George
(melinda.george@learningforward.
org) is chief policy officer at Learning
Forward.

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