In response to the passage of COVID-19 emergency relief and the appropriations to fund the federal government for 2021, the National School Boards Association (NSBA) issued the following statements:

Anna Maria Chávez, Executive Director and CEO of the National School Boards Association (NSBA):

Public School Relief is Important First Step for Students, Major Help Still Needed in Long Journey Ahead

“Since the CARES Act passed in March of this year, the National School Boards Association (NSBA), working with its federation of state associations and the U.S. territory of the Virgin Islands, has advocated for emergency funding for public schools to help them provide learning for students during this extraordinary pandemic. After months of waiting for help, NSBA is pleased that legislation has passed that will assist public schools, students, families, and all those impacted by this national emergency. Credit should be given to those leaders who strived to pass this bipartisan legislation.”

“But as COVID cases continue to rise at very troubling levels, more will need to be done to help public schools and the millions of students they serve. The $54 billion funding for K-12 public schools is significantly lower than the minimum $200 billion that is required to help our more than 50 million students who attend public schools navigate through this crisis. The lack of any funding for state and local government being excluded for any emergency funds will also impact public education since it is the largest budget item for most states. The next legislation must address getting more funding into public schools and states to help deal with this issue so future focus can be on transforming learning and improving equity for students.”

“This legislation is welcome and necessary. But it is only a small step forward in what is a long journey ahead to help the millions of students, our public schools, and the nation recover from this catastrophic health and economic emergency.”

Charlie Wilson, President of NSBA:

“The Pew Research Center reports five million households with school-age children do not have Internet access at home. There must also be funding dedicated to help the many students who lack critical access to high-speed broadband creating a digital divide in education, commonly called the homework gap. While there is some funding for broadband in this legislation that will offer some benefit to some students and families, it is far too inadequate to deal with the totality of this real problem that impacts students all over the nation but hits students of color, students from low-income families, and students with disabilities the hardest. It was disappointing that funds for the homework gap were stricken from the legislation late in the process. NSBA calls for Congress to work on a bipartisan agreement for funding of at least $12 billion to go to the FCC’s E-Rate program to help millions of students have access to the internet they must have for learning in today’s modern world.”

Around NSBA

a boy being tutored at a desk

Black Students in the Condition of Education 2020

The Center for Public Education selected relevant data from the Condition of Education to help school leaders not only monitor the educational progress of Black students, but also rethink what public schools can do better for Black students.