WASHINGTON - July 01, 2020 - The National Education Association applauds the bipartisan passage of H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act. The federal legislation includes the Reopen and Rebuild America’s Schools Act, which would create a $100 billion grant program and $30 billion tax-credit bond program that target high-poverty schools whose facilities pose health and safety risks to students and staff.
The Moving Forward Act also would provide $5 billion to narrow the digital divide and help students who have fallen into the “homework gap.” Nationwide, as many as 12 million students — 1 in 5 — are unable to do schoolwork at home due to lack of internet access.
The following statement can be attributed to NEA President Lily Eskelsen García:
“For far too long, public schools have been vastly underfunded, causing unwelcoming and hazardous learning environments for students and educators. In fact, the American Society of Civil Engineers gives the condition of America’s 100,000 public school buildings — 44 years old, on average — an overall grade of D+. That’s not a passing grade on any scale. These school buildings are poorly equipped, in poor physical condition or present unsafe infrastructure challenges like moldy ceiling tiles, asbestos, vermin infestations, inoperable heating and cooling systems, and more. Some of the worst conditions exist in rural and urban areas — too often plaguing the public schools that serve primarily Black and Hispanic communities.
“The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted how America’s economic recovery runs through our public schools. The House’s passage of the Moving Forward Act is a step in the right direction because this bill would provide vital federal funding to school infrastructure. In addition to making our schools safer for students and educators, the legislation helps communities by creating good jobs across America and addressing some of the structural inequities in our nation’s public school infrastructure. It’s a win-win.
“We applaud the leadership of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Chairman Bobby Scott and Chairman Richie Neal for their steadfast commitment and their efforts to rebuild America’s ageing infrastructure. We call on the Senate to put aside politics and pass this legislation to keep us moving forward.”
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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, students preparing to become teachers, healthcare workers, and public employees. Learn more at www.nea.org.