On a day when lawmakers in the US House of Representatives are considering a bill that would fund a $2 trillion stimulus package, the focus is shifting to how to keep families in the classroom.
The House Appropriations Committee is expected to take up the stimulus package in the coming weeks.
The legislation would extend a $1 trillion stimulus measure that expired in December, and would create an additional $700 billion in emergency funds to help schools.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers, led by Rep. Jared Kushner, D-Calif., introduced the bill in January.
It’s the latest in a series of attempts to rein in the federal government and help the struggling American education system.
The bill, if passed, would provide an additional year of emergency funding to schools.
That would help fund the creation of more than 5 million classrooms across the US, according to a statement from the Kushner’s office.
“These emergency funds will help support schools and students by providing more teachers and principals, better tools to help educators with instructional resources, more funding to teachers and other students, and increased funding for school resource officers to work with school administrators to make sure schools are safe,” the statement said.
The emergency money would go toward classroom construction, equipment purchases, teacher training, teacher supplies, curriculum updates, supplies, and other needs.
The measure would also provide a $500 million emergency fund to help states create new teacher training programs, the statement added.
The new funding would come in addition to the $1.8 trillion in stimulus package that expired last month.
That money was used to fund education projects in states that were already hit hard by the Great Recession, including the states of Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wyoming.
The $1 billion in funding for education projects would not be included in the new stimulus package.