Congressional leaders are continuing negotiations for a possible new COVID-19 recovery package. A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators working on a compromise package released an updated framework last week.

But according to an “action alert” issued by the National School Boards Association (NSBA), the funding levels in the updated framework are not sufficient to address the needs of 50 million schoolchildren in 14,000 school districts.

The NSBA calls for the following education priorities for school boards to be fully funded in the bill:

  • education stabilization funding;
  • online learning investments to close the homework gap;
  • targeted investments in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA);
  • voucher opposition;
  • liability protections for school districts;
  • payroll tax credits to school districts for employee leave due to COVID-19,
  • and an extension of the date to use CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds that are administered directly by the U.S. Treasury.

The National School Boards Association is asking board members in each state, including New Jersey, to contact their senators and representatives to urge their strong support for better education funding in the next COVID-19 recovery package.

“Your help is needed now, to email and call your members of Congress and their staff in support of your local public school district,” the NSBA said.

The “action alert,” which includes a sample letter, can be found here.

In the New Jersey legislative directory, names and addresses of senators and representatives can be found in the back.

“As school board members and local elected officials with direct experience in governing our public schools amid COVID-19, your influence is very helpful,” the NSBA reminded board members.