U.S. House Heroes Update Contains Essential Relief for Students and Schools
Statement from Denise Forte, senior vice president for Partnership and Engagement, at The Education Trust, discussing the updated Heroes Act:
WASHINGTON – “The updated Heroes Act would issue much needed relief to students, borrowers, educators, schools, and colleges, as well as to state and local governments facing devastating cuts to essential social services. In the face of the ongoing multiple crises, including racism, a recession, and COVID-19, it is past time for Congress to act. We are pleased that this bill takes the following important steps:
- Allocates $225 billion for our nation’s schools and colleges, and packages that money with maintenance of effort and maintenance of equity provisions that would protect our nation’s most underserved students from disproportionately harmful cuts like we’ve seen in past recessions
- Allocates $12 billion to connect the more than 16 million K-12 students who currently lack high-quality home internet and/or devices, enabling remote learning for students across the country
- Expands SNAP eligibility for college students and increase the amount of food assistance available to those in need during the pandemic
- Applies student loan payment relief to all federal student loans, and extends that relief until the end of September 2021
- Contains vital aid for early childhood educational providers and invests in the Child Care and Development Block Grant
As the legislative process continues, we encourage Congress to include significant student loan forgiveness provisions; funding for home broadband access for college students from low-income backgrounds; and allocate dedicated funding to address students’ learning loss and socio-emotional needs, as quickly as possible to address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 and the current economic crisis.
We applaud the House for its leadership, and urge Congress to pass the Heroes Act as soon as possible.