Durbin Discusses Priorities For Next Coronavirus Supplemental Legislation, Including Investments In Education And Child Care

CHICAGO – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today held a news conference at Little Village Elementary School to discuss his priorities for the next coronavirus federal relief package, including federal assistance for education and child care through the Coronavirus Child Care and Education Relief Act. The legislation addresses the national child care and education crises brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and provides relief to students, families, schools, and educators across the country. The legislation is part of a larger Senate Democratic effort to spark action on bold solutions to the COVID-19 crisis after months of unnecessary delay on the part of Senate Republicans. Durbin was joined by Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson.

“The best thing we can do to help local districts through this difficult fall and beyond is to provide the federal assistance and support they need to ensure the path they choose is one that keeps students and staff safe while allowing learning and development to continue effectively and equitably,” said Durbin. “In addition to supporting the child care, early education, and higher education sectors, the Coronavirus Child Care and Education Relief Act would provide $175 billion to elementary and secondary schools to help meet technology, cleaning, staffing, and other needs of schools. It would provide funds to school districts based on their share of low-income children—similar to the CARES Act, which brought more than $200 million to CPS and a total of $512 million to elementary and secondary schools across our state.

"Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our students and staff members, which is why we continue to advocate for additional federal funding to ensure we can effectively support all of our students this fall," said CPS CEO, Dr. Janice K. Jackson. "Now more than ever, schools need support from federal lawmakers and I want to thank Senator Dick Durbin for championing the Coronavirus Child Care and Education Relief Act, which will help our district support students to the best of our ability."   

The Coronavirus Child Care and Education Relief Act invests $430 billion in the education sector. The bill will provide:

  • An additional $345 billion to the Education Stabilization Fund (ESF) created by the CARES Act.
    • $175 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund to be distributed to school districts based on their share of low-income students.
    • $33 billion for the Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund.
    • $132 billion for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.
  • $12 billion for the Individuals with Disabilities Act.
  • $4 billion to schools to purchase discounted computers, laptops, hotspots, and at-home internet service through the FCC’s E-Rate program.
  • $50 billion in grant funding to child care providers to help make up for lost revenue and support safe reopening and operation of child care and early education programs.  It would also allow child care providers to continue to pay staff wages and benefits during periods of closure or reduced enrollment.
  • $1.5 billion for child abuse prevention through the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act.
  • $450 million for TRIO programs to help low-income, first-generation college students.
  • $1 billion to support state grants for career and technical education programs.
  • $2 billion for community college and industry partnership grants to develop and scale career training programs for high-skill, high-wage, and in-demand occupations.

In addition to investments in education and child care, Senator Durbin supports an extension of the $600 a week supplemental benefit for unemployed Americans; additional Economic Impact Payments; improvements to the PPP loan program; more funding for health care providers (hospitals, community health centers), testing, and PPE; COBRA coverage to keep recently laid-off workers on their employer health plans for free; additional funding for state and local governments; and additional measures.