The new coronavirus stimulus package did not go far enough, education organizations say

A new coronavirus stimulus package is attracting the attention of educaiton groups pushing for more funding amidst economic turmoil in the US.

On Monday, Senate Republicans unveiled a one trillion stimulus package that will go into helping the country deal with the aftermaths of coronavirus after months of lockdown. The Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools, or HEALS Act will mark the second stimulus package since the spread of coronavirus began meant to caution citizens and businesses amidst economic turmoil in the country due to the pandemic.

The stimulus package and the educaiton sector

The stimulus package outlined where the money would be used, and of note to teachers and education organizations was the $105 billion that would go to schools. Of this, around $70 billion was allocated to K-12 education.

About 16 education groups in the US wrote a letter to the congressional leadership in a bid to air their grievances and recommendations on the stimulus bill. The educational groups started by congratulating the Senate leadership for coming up with the stimulus bill, acknowledging that the education sector had not been left behind and they appreciated that.

However, the letter continued by saying that the money allocated to schools fell short of what was needed. For instance, the allocated funding for the K-12 education, which was $70 billion, was nearly half of what they had requested and what was needed. They asked the Senate to reconsider the amount as that would go a long way in ensuring the schools run smoothly.

Limitations of the bill to schools

They continued by criticizing the second stimulus bill, which they described as much more prescriptive than the previous package. They said they were against this inflexibility because it would limit the schools on how they can use the money. They continued by saying that this would limit the ability for schools to reopen safely, which would put the country in great danger.

The one size fits all formula adapted by the stimulus package and the Trump administration, as the schools look to reopen was also criticized by these education organizations. They said that the needs of response for coronavirus may be different from one school district to another, therefore the one fits all formula was ill-informed.


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