As states contend with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, a coalition of more than 70 organizations have sent a letter to leaders in Congress calling for $500 billion in state stabilization funding, with at least half of that dedicated to K-12 education, higher education and support programs for students from marginalized communities.
The letter — which includes signatures from the American Federation of Teachers, Center for American Progress, Education Reform Now, The Education Trust and the National Education Association — also requested that Congress expand access to broadband and online connectivity; strengthen food assistance programs; create and fund a separate, voluntary program to make up for lost learning time; and address the need for increased academic, social-emotional and physical supports for students, educators and families.
“While the novel coronavirus has caused undue hardship and loss to so many of our communities, it has exacerbated preexisting inequities, causing our highest-need students to face even greater barriers to success,” said Shavar Jeffries, president of Education Reform Now. “Now more than ever, we need funding and resources targeted to our historically underserved students to combat the effects of prolonged school closures—with a particular focus on increasing access to quality distance learning and supporting students’ academic, emotional, and physical well-being in transitioning back into the classroom.”
The full letter can be read here.