***VIDEO AVAILABLE*** Rep. Lee Hosts COVID-19 Hispanic Education Roundtable

September 1, 2020
Press Release

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Las Vegas, Nev. – U.S. Rep. Susie Lee (Nev.-03) hosted a Facebook Live roundtable to discuss K-12 and higher education in the southern Nevada Hispanic community.  

Rep. Lee was joined by local Hispanic education and community leaders, including school teachers, principals, and faculty. Topics included the effects of COVID-19 on southern Nevada’s schools, addressing inequity in the K-12 and higher education systems, wrap-around school services, diversifying the teacher pipeline, and Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs).

“Pandemic or not, we need to solve the problem of inequality in public education,” said Rep. Lee. “Hispanic families, students, and teachers are a bedrock of our state, yet the Hispanic community, and all communities of color, don’t have equal access to quality education in the classroom and vital services outside the classroom. That’s why I introduced the Communities Serving Schools Act last week to invest in wrap-around school services that give every student a chance to succeed.

“Nevada’s schools are already facing massive budget cuts due to the coronavirus, which will make these inequities worse if Congress doesn’t step up and provide relief,” Rep. Lee continued. “The House passed billions of dollars in emergency education relief over three months ago in the Heroes Act, and it’s shameful that negotiations with Senate Republicans have stalled. I’ll keep fighting for southern Nevada to pass relief for our students, teachers, and families. Thank you to all of the teachers, administrators, and Hispanic community leaders who joined me today to discuss how we can make our education system work for every Nevadan.”

BACKGROUND:  

The Communities Serving Schools Act 

Last Friday, Rep. Lee introduced the Communities Serving Schools Act, which would provide grants to state and local education agencies to invest in wrap-around school services that assist with the health, well-being, and stability of students outside of the classroom, particularly in underserved, low-income communities. 

Wrap-around school services are programs that support the whole child by providing students, particularly those in underserved, low-income communities, with help that leads to success in and out of the classroom, like tutoring, after school programs, college prep, nutrition, and mental health support. 

The Heroes Act

Rep. Lee and the House of Representatives passed a comprehensive coronavirus relief package, the Heroes Act, on May 15th, which includes vital emergency funding for public education, including: 

  • Providing $90 billion for the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund for Education for grants to states to support elementary and secondary schools and public postsecondary institutions, including the following: 
     
    • Nearly $58 billion for K-12 schools to continue delivering instruction, including purchasing education technology and hotspot devices, planning and implementing summer learning, professional development, and maintaining school personnel employment. 
       
    • Nearly $27 billion to support public institutions of higher education and their students. 
       
    • Nearly $4 billion to governors to award funding to school districts and institutions of higher education. 
       
  • Providing more than $10 billion in direct emergency funding for institutions of higher education, including $1.7 billion for historically Black colleges and other minority-serving institutions: The bill provides more than $10 billion in direct emergency funding for institutions of higher education that have suffered severe financial losses due to COVID-19, including $1.7 billion for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and Minority-Serving Institutions. 
     
  • Providing $7 billion for child care providers: The bill provides $7 billion for child care providers to serve individuals who are required to work during the public health emergency or to stay afloat during temporary closures, as well as providing child care facilities with tuition relief. 
     
  • Providing student loan debt relief: The bill provides up to $10,000 in student debt relief for economically-distressed federal borrowers; ensures all federal student loan borrowers benefit from the temporary suspension of payments, interest accrual, and involuntary collections through September 2021; and provides debt relief to student borrowers defrauded by Corinthian Colleges and ITT Tech. 

On Aug. 19, Rep. Lee hosted a COVID-19 K-12 Education Roundtable with the Nevada Parent Teacher Association to discuss schooling during the pandemic, and serious issues parents and students are facing like internet access for at-home learning, food assistance for students, child care for working parents, funding for school districts and state and local governments, and more.   

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