James P. Steyer, Founder and CEO of Common Sense, Blasts Failure of Congress to Include Funding to Connect All Students in COVID-19 Relief Package
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (March 25, 2020) -- The following was released by James P. Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense, after details of the final Senate agreement were released early this morning:
"Congress has worked hard, under difficult circumstances, to help struggling families and our economy in response to the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. But I cannot understand how the U.S. Senate can approve a $2 trillion emergency package and not find even $1 billion to ensure that every schoolchild in America can connect to the internet on a functioning device at a time when virtually all students in the country are required to learn from home for their own safety. This decision will leave kids behind and unfairly impact those most in need.
"The digital divide is real; up to 12 million lower-income, and many rural-based, kids do not have adequate access to broadband or modern devices, impacting student outcomes and exacerbating economic inequality. Now that most American schoolkids must learn from home because of COVID-19, it is an even bigger problem. It is incomprehensible that the Senate could not support online learning for students in this emergency package. When Congress acts next to respond to the virus and its economic fallout, it must prioritize closing the homework gap once and for all. The education, health, and safety of millions of American kids depend on it."
About Common Sense
Common Sense is the nation's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in the 21st century. Learn more at commonsense.org.