legislative news and current legislation
SSWAA Call to Action
Congress is at a stalemate on the next stimulus package. In the midst of all this pain and suffering, schools will see budgets and critical positions cut if Congress does not act. SSWAA has reached out to Congress to ask for additional funding to help families across this country and to adequately fund education. However, now we need you to take action as well. Please use the template below to write your Congressional delegation and urge them to provide money for schools. Tell Congress what your experience has been, tell them your story, that will break through and push them to act. Find your Member of Congress here and your Senators here. Each office will have a different policy for reaching them that will be listed on their website. You might be able to email them directly or simply copy and paste your letter into the form provided on their website. Tell Congress to act now!
Congressional Update (August 2020)
State of Play
Congress is currently at a stalemate in its negotiations for the next stimulus package, guaranteeing that the school year will start around the country without additional funding and no clear indication as to what amount of funding will be made available for school districts and their surrounding cities and states. As states experience tremendous revenue shortfalls and schools incur additional equipment and training costs, it seems that the lessons from earlier this year have not impacted the actions of legislators.
The House Democrats passed a stimulus bill two months ago but Senate Republicans opted to take a wait-and-see approach in the hopes that the economy would rebound and additional assistance would not be needed. That approach has not paid off. Additional assistance is needed but the Senate GOP was unable to come to an agreement on exactly what that assistance should be. After negotiations that dragged on longer than anticipated, they released a roughly $1 trillion bill, the HEALS Act, that is over $2 trillion less than what the House passed, the HEROES Act. HEALS includes $70 billion for K-12 education but reserves 2/3rd of that money for schools that reopen with in-person education. Democrats have increased their demands from what was roughly a similar amount of money for K-12 education in the HEROES Act to now seeking over $300 billion for schools. Republicans do not feel that amount of money is necessary because only 2% of the $13 billion that was made available through the CARES Act earlier this year has been drawn down.
Regardless of what the actual needs are, the fact is that Congress remains trillions of dollars apart and at a stalemate. Rank-and-file members of the House and Senate have left DC and are not expected to return until a deal is struck. It is urgent that SSWAA members reach out to their delegations (your two Senators and one Member of the House) and let them know about the needs you are seeing in your district. Use the template and information in the SSWAA Call to Action above!
SSWAA in Action
SSWAA is a member of a number of coalitions that are active on the Hill and regularly engage the Department on issues that are a priority to our membership. Below you can view recent coalition letters that SSWAA has signed on to and press releases introducing bills that we support.