WASHINGTON—Congresswomen Jahana Hayes (CT-05), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), have led 111 colleagues in sending a letter to Congressional leadership strongly urging the inclusion of $305 billion in K-12 education stabilization funding as part of upcoming coronavirus response legislation.
“States are experiencing increased health care and unemployment-related costs that will put further pressure on education funding,” the lawmakers wrote. “Without federal support, the strain on state budgets will have drastic consequences for education, particularly students’ access to teachers.”
The Heroes Act contains $90 billion in education funding, however, there is concern that only $58 billion of that funding will actually support K-12 education. Citing a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report on state revenue shortfalls and a Learning Policy Institute report on necessary new education expenses in the wake of COVID-19, $305 billion, the lawmakers wrote, is what it will take to keep public schools stabilized and children educated.
“We urge that as you negotiate coronavirus response legislation, you allocate at least $305 billion to a State Fiscal Stabilization Fund for grants to States to support statewide and local funding specifically for our K-12 public schools. Our children’s education is too important to risk.,” the letter continued.
“66 years after Brown v. Board of Education, inequity in our nation’s education system remains commonplace,” said Congresswoman Hayes. “These disparities will be further exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis, as state and local budgets are strained and education funding is cut. Cuts to public education result in educator layoffs, with a disproportionate impact on students of color in low-wealth communities. It is unacceptable to mortgage the future of our children to balance budgets after a national crisis. We need robust intervention to stave off the erosion of quality education services during this unprecedented time. I am proud to join Reps. Tlaib and Pressley in calling for significant funding to stabilize K-12 education in upcoming coronavirus legislation.”
The full text of the letter and complete list of its 114 cosigners can be viewed here.
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Rep. Jahana Hayes has been a public-school teacher in Connecticut for more than 15 years and was recognized in 2016 as the National Teacher of the Year.
Currently serving her first term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Hayes sits on the Committees on Education & Labor and Agriculture and proudly represents Connecticut’s 5th District.