RELEASE: More Than 150 Organizations Urge Congress to Support Private School Families
For millions of K-12 students, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented interruptions of critical classroom instruction time, educational programs, and services. As Congress considers further relief for hardworking Americans, all families seeking the best education opportunities for their children, especially those facing difficulties due to COVID-19, deserve support.
Every child deserves access to a quality education and an educational environment that best fits their needs. Permanent closure of private schools would devastate millions of families, many of whom are lower income, and overwhelm the public school system. If just 20% of private schools close, the cost to taxpayers would be roughly $15 billion.
As part of a nationwide coalition of 155 signatories and counting, we believe Congress must set aside 10 percent of any new federal COVID-19 relief or stimulus funding provided to public schools, consistent with the overall population of private school students in the country. With continued uncertainty ahead, it is also important to pair one-time direct aid with a comprehensive, sustainable federal tax credit to sustain scholarships for children long-term.
The letter to Congressional leaders, which includes organizations that have since added their name as signers, can be viewed here: https://www.federationforchildren.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Federal-COVID-Response_Coalition-Letter_0625-1.pdf.
Statement from American Federation for Children President, John Schilling:
“This is an unprecedented time for our country. Families with school-age children are particularly susceptible to the stresses and uncertainties brought on by COVID-19. A significant number of children enrolled in private school come from lower income families, and these are the thousands of schools in danger of closing due to the pandemic. The coronavirus doesn’t distinguish between public and private school students, and neither should Congress. Therefore, we stand with more than 150 other education organizations and institutions in urging Congress to include all families in future relief for children in America’s schools.”