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As the United States moves into a new Presidential administration, we are all seeing a series of new legislative recommendations. Members of our association have been communicating with our partners in public education since last November regarding the Biden administrations proposed $1.9T relief package, known as the “American Rescue Plan”, as well as other legislative initiatives. Much of the current proposed legislation is intended to provide additional COVID related relief support to individuals, businesses and communities; while others will be focused on jobs and infrastructure.
As part of the relief package, the new administration has pledged to assist school systems with the audacious reopening challenges as we emerge from the COVID – 19 Pandemic. At this point, the new administration has identified up to $130B, for reopening assistance for K-12 and another $5B to be used as an additional funding pool for States’ Governors to use in support of their school systems. These funds are anticipated to be released during the first 100 days of the new administration with a further goal of reopening all K-8 facilities during that time frame.
In addition, the proposed bill will contain $350B for “flexible” spending by state and local governments. Our committee has learned that other education associations are advocating for half of that to be set aside for relief and support of education for those schools heavily impacted by the pandemic.
At its January meeting the A4LE Board of Directors tasked the Membership Steering Committee to develop an advocacy plan for the association and to be a voice in these initiatives. The Committee has assembled a core group of leaders to begin this process. We are already underway identifying alliances with other associations and like-minded groups for which we can provide participation and leadership. Even though we have a group of dedicated leaders and staff who have jumped into action to get things moving, we will still need the help of our members. This is a fast-moving initiative, and we assure you that your association will remain on top of this and keep you informed throughout the process.
As members of A4LE, we all recognize that our end users are the students and teachers in the classroom. Our association finds itself in an excellent position to use our knowledge and professionalism to advocate for a stable funding source for school infrastructure.
If you are interested in supporting this effort, please let us know. We are in the process of mapping out our ultimate game plan and how we can use our talented and dedicated members to be a part of this valuable work. You may contact our CEO John Ramsey at [email protected]
, any member of the Board of Directors, or either of us if you wish to help us in any way.
Thank you for your time and consideration of this request. Have a Great Day!