June 4, 2020

Ask Your Senators to Protect School Funding

If there is one thing we have seen teachers agree on, it's that our students deserve an education system that has the funds to meet their needs. This summer, we expect the U.S. Senate to explore another round of stimulus funding to address ballooning state budget gaps, including in education. The House version of the bill, the HEROES Act, proposes $58 billion for education. That’s a great start but is a fraction of the $500 billion in education funding that governors and education experts have indicated that schools need. Now is our chance to help prevent severe education funding cuts and layoffs by contacting our U.S. Senators to ask them to invest in education during this crisis.
Please consider joining other Teach Plus teachers in calling or emailing your U.S. Senators to ask them to help stabilize the state education budget.  A sample email and call script are below―or you can share any message that meets the needs of your students and school.

Find Your Senators’ Phone Numbers and Email Addresses
Choose your state from the drop-down menu, and it will bring up your two Senators, and their office phone numbers and links to send them an email.

Sample Email
You are invited to customize this to match the needs or experiences of your school and district.

Dear Senator NAME,

I am a teacher, and a voter. Over the past two months I have done everything I can to connect with our students and families. Despite the many challenges of the virtual classroom, I am hopeful because following weeks of active concern and outreach, many of my students are reaching back and making every effort to keep up with their learning and schooling. But I cannot sustain this effort for long if the resources that we so desperately need to ensure my students continue to grow and learn are in jeopardy.  I am concerned about the shrinking budget my school district faces for schoolyear 2020-21, and about the prospect of doing more with less at a time when the trauma my students are experiencing is no less real than our COVID health emergency.  

I am therefore writing to ask you to work with your fellow Senators to prioritize education funding as states work to stabilize budgets and minimize economic and educational harm that might lie ahead.  Your work to prioritize education funding is critical in advance of the return of millions of students to our schools this fall. Specifically, I am requesting $500 billion in state stabilization funding for K-12 and higher education spending, including:

  • At least $175 billion for the Education Stabilization Fund to prevent significant budget and staffing cuts in K-12 education, just as students’ academic needs are increasing; 
  • $50 billion for public institutions of higher education and minority-serving institutions;
  • $4 billion for the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) E-rate program so teachers can provide remote learning opportunities for the millions of K-12 students who lack internet access and access to on-line learning at home; 
  • A significant expansion of nutrition assistance programs for students and families through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP);
  • Additional funding for expanded learning opportunities to help students make up for lost learning time experienced during COVID-19 school closures; and
  • Additional funding to prioritize the academic, social-emotional, and other needs experienced by students most impacted by COVID-19 and its related economic fallout, as they return for the 2020-21 school year.   

I request that all of these funds be allocated equitably, with an emphasis on the highest need students who are disproportionately impacted by this health, economic, and educational crisis.  

Sincerely,
YOUR NAME

Sample Call Script

Hi!  My name is YOUR NAME, and I am a teacher and a voter in STATE NAME.  I am calling to ask the Senator to work with fellow Senators to pass a stimulus package that includes $500 billion in education funding, including $175 billion for the Education Stabilization Fund and additional funds for higher education, the E-rate program, nutrition assistance, and funding for expanded learning opportunities.

[Say something about your students or school that explains why that is necessary.]

Thank you so much!