Murray, Schumer bill will provide relief to students and families and ensure child care providers, K-12 schools, colleges, and universities can continue to provide quality services to children and students across the country
Bill will address growing inequities in our education system by funding services for students from low-income families, students of color, English learners, students experiencing homelessness, students with disabilities, and more
Bill includes safeguards to ensure that Secretary DeVos cannot use the coronavirus crisis to advance her partisan school privatization agenda
Relief for students and schools offered as part of Senate Democratic effort to bring Republicans to table to act on bold solutions to the COVID19 crisis after months of needless delay
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), introduced the Coronavirus Child Care and Education Relief Act (CCCERA), a $430 billion dollar bill to address the national child care and education crises and provide relief to students, families, schools, and educators across the country during this pandemic. The legislation comes as part of a larger Senate Democratic effort to spark action on bold solutions to the COVID-19 crisis after months of unnecessary delay on the part of Senate Republican leaders.
The bill will provide a massive and much-needed investment to ensure that child care providers can remain open, and that K-12 schools and colleges can address a variety of issues including implementing public health measures, addressing learning loss among students, and providing emergency financial assistance to post-secondary students during the pandemic. The bill will also address the growing inequities in our education system by providing services for those disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus crisis—including students of color, students from low-income families, students experiencing homelessness, English learners, students with disabilities, and more. Additionally, the bill will reverse Secretary DeVos’ cruel attempts to prevent certain college students from receiving relief, stop her from giving colleges special favors when they are have not demonstrated need, stop her from using funds meant for public schools to support her school privatization agenda, and establish safeguards to ensure that she implements the bill with the equity that it requires.
“Students, parents, and educators nationwide have been thrown into a kind of uncertainty and chaos we’ve simply never seen before—and the consequences if we don’t respond with bold solutions will be dire, especially for those who were already struggling to begin with,” said Senator Murray. “Democrats are laying out a path to save millions of child care slots, nearly two million education jobs, and keep this pandemic from widening disparities that already harm students of color disproportionately—because we believe doing so is essential if we hope to come back from this difficult time stronger. I hope Republicans agree.”
As the coronavirus crisis continues, child care providers, K-12 schools, and institutions of higher education face unprecedented challenges and uncertainty as they strive to serve their children and students. Challenges in implementing public health protocols and ensuring the safety of all children and students have been compounded as the economic impact of the crisis has caused unprecedented State and local budget shortfalls. Without major help from the federal government, the United States risks losing 4.5 million child care slots, losing 1.9 million education jobs, exacerbating students’ learning loss, causing more higher education students to drop out due to economic and academic struggles, and widening disparities that disproportionately harm students of color, specifically Black students.
“The coronavirus pandemic brought with it unprecedented health and economic challenges for students, families, educators, and learning institutions across the country—challenges disproportionately felt by students of color, students from low-income families, students with disabilities, and more,” said Leader Schumer. “Bold solutions are needed now to save teaching jobs, preserve millions of child care slots, and ensure every student has access to safe, quality education. Senate Democrats’ bill lays out a clear path to achieve just that.”
In order to address the child care and education crises, the bill provides:
The bill also addresses the numerous ways that Secretary DeVos has violated Congressional intent when implementing the CARES Act to advance her partisan agenda.
This bill includes safeguards that will:
In addition to Senator Murray and Schumer, the bill is cosponsored by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Tina Smith (D-MN), Bob Casey (D-PA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ed Markey (D-MA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).