NEWS ROOM

September 9th, 2020

National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) Rejects Senate Proposal and Calls on Congress to Invest Significantly in Public Schools

Washington DC — September 9, 2020 — The latest proposal by Senate Republicans in response to the COVID-19 pandemic is an insult to students, families, and educators and must be rejected. While relief is needed, including in many areas outside of education, this proposal will cause lasting damage to our public institutions for years to come. Rather than dedicating resources to help public schools serve all learners, the Senate bill—the Delivering Immediate Relief to America’s Families, Schools and Small Businesses Act— aims to funnel resources into private school voucher programs and jeopardizes the health and safety of students and educators by making school funding conditional on physical reopening. Once again, the Senate Republican proposal is insufficient to address the needs of students, educators, and families during the pandemic.

Despite clear calls from dozens of education and civil rights organizations for significant investment in K-12 public schools, this bill would provide only $70B in grants to states. With two-thirds of those funds reserved only for schools that are physically reopening, the vast majority of school districts across the country will not receive adequate funding to cover the costs associated with this unprecedented school year. Further, 10% of the money received by districts would be directed to private schools, and the bill establishes a new private school voucher program and a federal tax credit program, diverting desperately needed resources from public schools. 

As they begin a school year unlike any other, students—particularly students with disabilities and those who have been systemically marginalized—deserve high-quality and responsive instruction that meets their social, emotional, and academic needs, wherever they are learning. Educators need more resources and training to make virtual and hybrid learning work for all students. And our public schools need significantly greater funding to offset the revenue shortfalls they are facing. Congress must take bold action to meet this moment before it is too late for our students with the greatest needs. 

Read the full statement here.

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ABOUT NCLD

The National Center for Learning Disabilities’ mission is to improve the lives of the 1 in 5 children and adults nationwide with learning and attention issues—by empowering parents and young adults, transforming schools and advocating for equal rights and opportunities.

For more information, please contact:
Meghan Whittaker, Director of Policy & Advocacy
mwhittaker@ncld.org 

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