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school funding

Without more funding, U.S. schools and universities could lose 1.9 million jobs, NEA says

June 10, 2020
The teachers association is urging Congress to allocate more money to help education institutions combat budget woes caused by Covid-19.

Without additional funding for schools and universities to counteract the damage caused by Covid-19, the United States is projected to lose 1.9 million education jobs, an analysis by the National Education Association concludes.

 “Communities and families across the nation are feeling firsthand the pain of this economic crisis,” NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia says. "Congress must put aside partisanship and take immediate action to save millions of jobs and ensure students don’t pay the price if states are forced to make deeps cuts to education funding.

“The American economy cannot recover if schools can’t reopen, and we cannot properly reopen schools if funding is slashed and students don’t have what they need to be safe, learn and succeed."

Experts warn the looming cuts will affect not only the educators who receive those pink slips and their families, but also the 51 million students who attend public schools and their families.

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved more funding by passing the HEROES (Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions) Act, but the Senate has not taken action.

The legislation would provide $915 billion in direct relief for state and local governments that can be used to pay vital workers such as educators. It also would make available $90 billion in additional education funding to support students and to help save educator jobs.

The NEA analysis indicates that the HEROES Act funding would save more than 673,000 K-12 and 153,000 higher ed jobs.

Without an infusion of funds, education institutions are facing significant budget cuts, which are likely to affect students of color disproportionately, the NEA says.

“The coronavirus pandemic has exposed and exacerbated the inequities facing our most vulnerable students,” says Eskelsen García. “Families of color and those in lower-income brackets have been hit hardest by the pandemic, both in terms of infection rates and in terms of economic ramifications such as job loss and pay cuts."

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