May 13, 2020

Coalition Demands Education Relief Package Targeted Toward Students, Teachers Most in Need of Support

May 13 (New York) — The Reimagine, Represent Teacher Diversity Education Coalition, along with additional organizations, sent a letter today calling on congressional leaders to allocate at least $250 billion in additional stimulus funds for education, including support for new teachers entering in the next school year, student mental health and well-being, teacher preparation programs at minority-serving institutions and expansion of learning time for students.

“We have to think beyond this pandemic to truly address the inequities ingrained in our education system, inequities that have only been deepened by COVID-19,” said Genelle Faulkner, a middle school science teacher and member of E4E-Boston. 

Signed by 30 education organizations, the letter calls for at least $250 billion in additional stimulus funds for education, with a minimum of $175 billion dedicated to state stabilization funds for elementary and secondary schools; $25 billion in dedicated funds to Title I of ESEA; and $15 million in dedicated funds to teacher preparation programs at minority-serving institutions in any future COVID-19 stimulus package. 

The letter further demands that Congress use a portion of these funds to support the long-term health of the teaching profession, with a focus on educators of color, who are at disproportionate risk of losing their jobs during times of economic upheaval, and disproportionately likely to work in the schools facing the most extreme fallout from this pandemic. 

“While the pandemic has affected us all, it has hit some much harder,” said Evan Stone, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of E4E. “Communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and must be a priority as we reopen schools.   Federal emergency education funds thus far have been helpful, but they fall far short of what schools and students need. With state budgets decimated and school districts stretched to the breaking point, Congress must step up to provide what is needed to safely reopen our schools and lay the groundwork to close the racial opportunity gaps that have always infected our education system.”

The Reimagine, Represent coalition, first formed in 2019, comprises educators, leaders, and allies who have joined forces to make a very clear and public statement: Increasing diversity in our teaching workforce cannot wait.