Congress: Protect Our Children! Invest $200 Billion In Our K-12 Public Schools Immediately

House Speaker Pelosi, House Minority Leader McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader McConnell, and Senate Minority Leader Schumer

Ask Congress to immediately invest $200 billion in our K-12 schools to keep our children safe and healthy.

We all want kids to return to the classroom as soon as possible, but not before it's safe. Superintendents who oversee schools in Long Beach, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Dallas, and other major school districts in the US warned Congress that: "dark clouds are forming on the educational horizon that will spell disaster if Congress does not intervene."

We join Superintendents and teachers everywhere in demanding $200 billion dollars from Congress to keep students safe and healthy. Public school districts in every state in the country are struggling to keep up with the financial demands of the virus. What's worse: schools are all functioning under the threat of looming budget cuts . Policy experts expect that hundreds of thousands of teachers will be fired. Class sizes will increase. Students will lose their - already underfunded - socioemotional support system. Due to institutional racism, Black children in particular will suffer immediate and harmful consequences.

Congress has the ability to save our children and our public schools.

As the wealthiest country in the world, they have no excuse for their negligent inaction. We demand that Congress immediately invests at least $200 billion dollars in our K-12 public school system.

Our children need you to #BeTheirHeroes.

Sign and share the petition today.


To: House Speaker Pelosi, House Minority Leader McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader McConnell, and Senate Minority Leader Schumer
From: [Your Name]

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Minority Leader McCarthy, Majority Leader McConnell, and Minority Leader Schumer:

We write to you as concerned educators, parents, and students to request that you act immediately to save our public schools. We join the Council of the Great City Schools in urging the federal government to invest a minimum of $175 billion in Educational Stabilization Funds distributed to the local level through the Title I formula, $13 billion for the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, and $12 billion in additional Title I program funding.

When public schools resume classroom activities, our top priority should be to ensure the safety of our students, their families, and all school employees. At minimum, schools must purchase personal protective equipment for students and staff, hire more nurses to monitor their health, hire more custodians to sanitize the classrooms more frequently, and hire more teachers to reduce class sizes. If Congress does not distribute at least $200 billion in emergency funds for K-12 classrooms, many schools will not be able to protect teachers, staff, parents, and most importantly our country’s most valued asset – our children.

The economic demands of the pandemic have negatively impacted every school district in the United States. Schools are facing financial hardships due the numerous and unexpected expenses made to keep students safe and healthy. These hardships will soon turn into a catastrophe due to the looming budget cuts. Since most school districts across the country are funded mainly through local and state dollars, this year’s sales tax revenue shortfall will result in major education budget cuts. The Learning Policy Institute projects that budget cuts across the nation would mean an 8.4% reduction in the U.S. teaching force, with some states seeing reductions larger than 20%. These cuts are dangerous to students and their families because they will cause class sizes to increase, making it impossible to implement any sort of science-informed physical distancing protocols. We cannot prevent this national disaster without a $200 billion investment from the federal government.

Furthermore, schools everywhere are currently in dire need of emergency funding to support our children’s mental health. Whether students return to the learning environment in person or online, their health and safety depends on the socioemotional support provided by schools. Even though we don’t know the full extent of the psychological toll that the pandemic has had on children, the deep sense of loneliness caused by social isolation has been detrimental to their health. As many families continue to struggle with poverty, unemployment, food insecurity, and housing insecurity, children will increasingly experience debilitating anxiety, stress, and depression. In an age when the demand for equity is knocking on everyone’s door, conditions associated with mental health issues are disproportionately impacting Black children, children of color, children living in poverty, and children with disabilities. These children will be returning online and in-person to chronically underfunded schools. For students to be ready and able to learn, schools must ensure they have robust emotional supports in place. Schools must provide more mental health professionals, including school psychologists, counselors, and behavior interventionists. This requires an investment of at least $200 billion from the federal level.

Federal emergency funds will help our communities ensure that all students receive a fair chance at success. With proper funding, schools can close the academic opportunity and equity gap, put an end to the discriminatory discipline disparity, and dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline. The murder of Mr. George Floyd and the uprisings that followed have forced every institution to bend toward justice. Parents, students, and educators are working together to dismantle the systems of oppression and anti-Blackness within our schools. The Black Lives Matter movement, organized by the Black community with the leadership of Black women, has transformed how society views and defines educational justice. The tireless efforts and the persistent work of these dedicated individuals has put school districts on the path toward educational reconstruction and racial equity. We cannot allow budget cuts to jeopardize this progress.

It is with the greatest sense of urgency that we ask you to immediately invest $200 billion in our K-12 public school system. Do not allow political negligence and gamesmanship to harm our children. The future of this country and our children is in your hands.

Sincerely,


Megan Kerr, Co-author
Vice-president, Board of Education, LBUSD
Joe Biden 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 47 - Long Beach, California

Cesar Armendariz, Co-author
Downey High School Teacher, Long Beach Resident
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 47 - Long Beach, California

Black Lives Matter
Long Beach Chapter

Congressman Alan Lowenthal, CA CD47

Congressman Ro Khanna, CA CD17

Robert Garcia
Long Beach Mayor

Rex Richardson
Long Beach Councilmember

Dana Baker
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 4 – Sonora, California

Jamie McDole
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 6 – Sacramento, California

Victoria Thompson
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 7 – Citrus Heights, California

Juan Vazquez
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 10 – Ceres, California

Francis Li
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 12 – San Francisco, California

Igor Tregub
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 13 – Berkeley, California

Leslie Sherman
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 17 – Sunnyvale, California

Sameena Usman
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 17 – Santa Clara, California

Lauren Fialkow
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 19 –San Jose, California

Rommy Joyce
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 19 – San Jose, California

Aaron Bagheri
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 24 – Goleta, California

Marcy Winograd
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 24 – Santa Barbara, California

Margaret Finnstrom
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 25 – Valencia, California

Karen Stevens
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 26 - Thousand Oaks, California

Steven Gibson
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 27 – Altadena, California

Mindy Pfeiffer
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 27 – Pasadena, California

Robert M. Nelson
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 27 – Pasadena, California

Christine Shimizu
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 30 – Winnetka, California

Cecile Bendavid
Joe Biden 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 30 – Woodland Hills, California

Janet Hurtado
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 32 – Baldwin Park, California

Jason Boxer
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 33– Manhattan Beach, California

Tye Rush
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 37 – Los Angeles, California

Jeanna Harris
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 37 – Los Angeles, California

Roberto A Alvarez
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 38 – Whittier, California

Henry Huerta
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 38 – Whittier, California

Lyndsey Lefebvre
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 39 – La Habra, California

Katherine Huynh
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 43 – Gardena, California

Timothy Beyer
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 43 – Lomita, California

Carrie Scoville
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 44 – San Pedro, California

Danielle Duryea
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 44 – San Pedro, California

Kaveh Arbab
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 44 – San Pedro, California

Bill Weeks
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 44 – San Pedro, California

Alfonso Ruiz (Alternate)
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 44 – Florence-Firestone, California

Dr. Bill Honigman
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 45 – Santa Ana, California

Sudi Farokhnia
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 45 – Mission Viejo, California

Nina Baldwin
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 45 – Irvine, California (Alternate)

Andrew Lewandowski
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 46 – Anaheim, California

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia
Joe Biden 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 47 - Long Beach, California

Council Member Rex Richardson
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 47 - Long Beach, California

Vanndearlyn Vong
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 47 - Long Beach, California

Andrew Swetland
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 47 - Long Beach, California

Tim Patton
Joe Biden 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 47 - Long Beach, California

Vincent Vo
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 47 - Long Beach, California

William Summerville
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 48 – Aliso Viejo, California

Jaci Iannello
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 48 – Seal Beach, California

Cipriano Vargas
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 49 – Vista, California

Martha Alvarado
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 49 – Oceanside, California

Ramon Montano Marquez
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 51 – San Diego, California

Nancy Casady
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 52 – La Jolla, California

Madeline Merritt
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
At Large – Monterey Park, California

Amanda Kennedy
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 2 – Greenbrier, Arkansas

Birrion Sondahl
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 2 – Keystone, Colorado

Shaun Sindelman
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 4 – Parker, Colorado

James Langford
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 7 – Orlando, Florida

Christina Stewart
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 9 – Kissimmee, Florida

Lisa Britto
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 10– Winter Garden, Florida

Nina Tatlock
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 16 – Apollo Beach, Florida

Michele Brown
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 18 – Jupiter, Florida

Jessica Lauren Cuellar
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 25 – Hialeaj, Florida

Dakin Weekley
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 26 – Key West, Florida

Stuart Strickland
Joe Biden 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 26 – Key West, Florida

Michael Calderin
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
PLEO – Coral Springs, Florida

Shirley Yamauchi
Joe Biden 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 2 – Kapolei, Hawaii

Ken Ward
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 2 - Idaho falls, Idaho

Antonio Ibarra
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
At Large – Joliet, Illinois

Sonya Bykofsky
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 1 – Lenox, Massachusetts

Mark Bignell
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 4 - Greenville, Michigan

Eli Pales
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 8 – East Lansing, Michigan

Michael Goforth
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 10 – St. Clair, Michigan

Susan Steigerwalt
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 13 – Detroit, Michigan

Elaine Dodd
Joe Biden 2020 DNC Delegate
At Large – Tulsa, Oklahoma

Emily Gibson
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 2 – Bend, Oregon

Abigail Collins
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 3 – Gresham, Oregon

Heather Bishop
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 4 – Corvallis, Oregon

Karyn Hollis
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 5 - Wynnewood, Pennsylvania

Sara Denny
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 3 – Athens, Tennessee

Pratyush Mallick
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 8 – Plano, Texas

Sylvia Campos
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 27 – Corpus Christi, Texas

Beth Martin
Bernie Sanders 2020 DNC Delegate
CD 9 – Bellevue, Washington