WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 30, 2020) — Education Reform Now (ERN) President Shavar Jeffries released the following statement on the Coronavirus Childcare Education Relief Act (CCCERA), proposed today by U.S. Senator Patty Murray and Senate Democrats.
“As the novel coronavirus continues to ravage our nation, we applaud Sen. Murray and Senate Democrats for their leadership in prioritizing education funding in the Congressional COVID-19 response effort and look forward to working with them and others to advance and build upon legislative work done to date.
The CCCERA bill as introduced would invest nearly $430 billion in funding for child care providers, K-12 schools and institutions of higher education to ensure that students are able to safely return to their classrooms. Importantly, the bill provides additional funding for institutions serving high numbers of students from low-income families, disproportionately students of color, for whom the virus has exacerbated already yawning inequities.
We’re particularly pleased that Sen. Murray and Senate Democrats prioritize funds to assess and counter the learning loss that some call the “COVID-19 slide,” which is no doubt far worse than the normal summer slide that disproportionately is seen in students from low-income families. We’re also pleased to see that CCCERA as introduced would provide $4 billion to support distance learning through the Federal Communications Commission’s E-Rate program, helping the nearly 12 million students who do not have Internet access Wi-Fi hotspots and devices.
But we know that access and equity without quality assurance and promotion too often serves as a hollow promise, just as quality without access and equity belies the American dream. Going forward, we urge Congress to target new COVID-19 relief funds to the highest-need students even more, only to provide assistance to financially-challenged public and non-profit private schools and institutions of higher education, and to further guarantee minimum quality education programs at the pre-school, K-12, and higher education levels. Every student deserves a fair opportunity to learn.
We applaud Sen. Murray and Senate Democrats for working to help close the education opportunity gap and ensure every student receives a quality education enabling them to live up to their fullest potential.”
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