Priorities for the Biden-Harris Administration's
First 100 Days: Education and COVID-19
First 100 Days: Education and COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated long-standing educational disparities, setting children of color who were already behind their white and more affluent peers even further behind.
Multi-pronged supports and deep investments need to be made so that the educational losses can be recovered without negative impacts for the next generation of Latino families and U.S. workers.
Parity for Latinx students and hispanic serving institutions must also not come at the expense of other minorities.
Communities like ours, that have already been marginalized by structural barriers to equal opportunities and have low levels of wealth, are particularly vulnerable during all emergencies, whether natural disasters, economic downturns, or a health pandemic like the one caused by COVID-19. In order to respond to the crisis being faced by Latinos due to COVID-19, as well as to address other issues negatively impacting Hispanic and immigrant communities across the country, we urge the Biden-Harris administration to implement the following policies as soon as possible.
Primeros 100 Actions:
Resources must be invested to ascertain the educational impact of the pandemic on Latino, immigrant and other low-income students and invest heavily in the academic and emotional well-being of students.
Provide adequate funding to states and localities so that schools receive the funding and planning they need to open safely and ensure the wellbeing of the students. teachers, and support staff. We urge you to appropriate $230 billion for the Education Stabilization Fund to deliver public K-12 schools the support they need to provide ongoing teaching and learning for children, whether in-person (where safe) or remotely.
Support increased allocation of $1 billion for Title III ESSA to support the nearly 4.9 million English learners (ELs) enrolled in K-12 public schools, the overwhelming number of whom are US-born citizens with immigrant roots.
Enact legislation to provide for a higher education system that advances equity and protects civil rights as reflected in the Civil Rights Principles for Higher Education.
Support Congressional legislation to invest $1 billion in Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs), or set aside no less than 10% of the total funds for higher education to support HSIs, as defined under Title V of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA) - provided they demonstrate a commitment to serving Latinx students and increasing graduation rates.
Enact legislation to expand access to early childhood education, including Head Start, especially for children who are low-income or from migrant families.
Extend the student loan moratorium suspending payments on federal student loans, debt collection, and interest accrual to help student borrowers manage the ongoing economic crisis for the duration of the economic crisis.
Provide increased funding for ESEA Title III to support English Language Learners.
Provide significant funding for the Federal TRIO Programs to provide more college access and support services to additional first-generation, low-income students, students with disabilities, and unemployed adults and veterans. TRIO currently serves 66 percent students of color, who already face significant barriers to accessing and completing college.
Recommend Executive Orders or Actions
Address the student debt crisis and wealth inequality by broadly cancelling federal and private student loans prioritizing low income, and first-generation college students to help close the wealth gap.
Elevate the leader of the Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) to an Assistant Secretary position similar in status to the head of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, and the Office for Civil Rights.