Senator Murray (D-WA), Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Democrats introduced the Coronavirus Child Care and Education Relief Act before the fourth of July holiday break. This bill includes $430 million for many of the Senate Democratic priorities for child care, K-12 schools and higher education, and child welfare:
The child welfare specific legislation includes $1.5 billion for CAPTA ($500 million for title I, $1 billion for CB-CAP) and waives the Title II state match requirement, makes an explicit use of funds for purchasing PPE and other safety precautions to support the child welfare workforce in conducting in person or remote visits and investigations, and increases the tribal and migrant set aside to 5%. In addition, this legislation includes the Child Care is Essential Act that would $50 billion in funding to child care providers to safely reopen and operate.
Senator Murray stated that: “Students, parents, and educators nationwide have been thrown into a kind of uncertainty and chaos we’ve simply never seen before—and the consequences if we don’t respond with bold solutions will be dire, especially for those who were already struggling to begin with. Democrats are laying out a path to save millions of child care slots, nearly two million education jobs, and keep this pandemic from widening disparities that already harm students of color disproportionately—because we believe doing so is essential if we hope to come back from this difficult time stronger.”
Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) has stated that he believes that more federal funding is needed to allow educational institutions to reopen this fall. School administrators have estimated that it could cost $50 to $75 billion to properly equip the 100,000 public schools with the PPE and testing to reopen safely.