Collaborative for Student Success Statement on Protecting Disadvantaged Students in the Stimulus Package

On March 20, 2020, Jim Cowen, Executive Director of the Collaborative for Student Success, released the following statement. 

The Collaborative for Student Success is deeply troubled that emergency coronavirus legislation introduced Thursday by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell fails to provide a much-needed infusion of funds to support the education of our nation’s children during this current crisis.

To be clear, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act would give the Secretary of Education broad authority to waive requirements of federal law, which may be necessary to support states as they adjust to this rapidly changing environment. However, they need more than just flexibility. States, districts, and communities need help ensuring all students—especially those most in need—have critical supports during this crisis, as well as when they inevitably return to school.

As Congress continues to formulate economic stimulus and education support measures, we urge them to include funding so that schools and communities with large populations of disadvantaged students can provide the following:

  • Continued access to meals while schools are closed so that no child goes hungry.
  • Equitable access to online education including internet accessibility for the millions of students who do not have it.
  • Extended learning opportunities or summer school for Title I students, English Learners, and students with disabilities so that they don’t fall further behind when they return to school.

These are but a few of the priorities supported by the civil rights and education communities, and we are eager to see and amplify additional thoughts from them as to how emergency federal funds can best support students during this crisis.

States and districts are certainly committed to addressing the needs of all their students. While we support flexibility from overly burdensome federal bureaucracy during this difficult time, we also ask that Congress require a minimal level of public reporting to help ensure that resources reach those who need them the most.

We appreciate your leadership and pledge our cooperation in helping to fulfill the needs of students, educators, and education officials during this time.

A downloadable version of this statement can be found here.