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Press Release

NEA praises Biden administration on ARP anniversary 

Pringle: "ARP will continue empowering educators and parents to work together to not only demand stronger and more just neighborhood schools– where every child enjoys the freedom to achieve their dreams – but to partner in making that a reality."
Published: 03/10/2022

WASHINGTON – National Education Association President Becky Pringle released the following statement marking the first anniversary of President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which has provided critical resources to public schools across the nation to support educators and help all students thrive: 

“One year ago, we celebrated as Congress passed and President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan, the largest federal investment in public education in history. Today, we continue to witness the incredible, life-changing impacts this historic investment has had across the country, helping to lift countless children and families out of poverty while working to address the immense inequities that have systematically affected the most vulnerable students and communities of color. 

“Across the nation, educators have joined with parents and local leaders to advocate for School Rescue Funds to help communities address the educator shortage crisis through hiring incentives, retention bonuses, and student loan relief. 

“School Rescue Funds have directly helped districts hire more school counselors and other school-based mental health professionals to help students address the trauma they bring into the classroom. The funds also have allowed students to get the one-on-one tutoring they need while expanding extracurricular activities. 

“The impact is felt in schools where HVAC systems have been upgraded to improve ventilation in classrooms. And, thanks to the leadership of Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, we are closing the technology gap by ensuring that all students have access to high-speed internet and digital tools they need to do their schoolwork and engage in learning.  

“Moving forward, the American Rescue Plan will continue empowering educators and parents to work together to not only demand stronger and more just neighborhood schools– where every child enjoys the freedom to achieve their dreams – but to partner in making that a reality. Educators thank President Biden and every member of Congress who supported this transformational legislation.” 

Background: 

The National Education Association, our affiliates, and our members have championed dedicating School Rescue Funds to the right priorities – helping students with their academic and social-emotional needs. For example:  

·       In San Antonio, Tex., educators successfully ran a public campaign demanding that teachers, education support professionals, and parents have a seat at the table in deciding how the funds are spent. This effort has ensured School Rescue Funds have been spent in support of smaller class sizes, high-quality PPE to keep students and educators safe, and to address staff shortages. 

·       In Iowa City, Iowa, educators advocated using School Rescue Funds to alleviate the educator shortage crisis. They persuaded school board members to add 140 new teachers, hire full-time substitute teachers, and ensure in-school nurses for every building in the district. 

·       Across the state of Michigan, educators successfully campaigned to use School Rescue Funds to expand the use of trauma-informed practices to address students’ social-emotional needs.   

·       In Natrona County, Wyo., educators successfully championed using these funds to hire a school nurse and school counselor to serve students in each of the county’s school buildings.   

These are just a few examples of how educators are advocating for their students. And these examples show why it is so important to have educators – along with parents and community leaders – working together to help our students and schools. 

 

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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.

 

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National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.