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Senator Tillis Still On Recess As North Carolina Schools Request Additional Funding To Keep Students Safe & Connected

Nearly two weeks ago, Senator Tillis followed Mitch McConnell’s marching orders, leaving Washington without passing critical COVID-19 relief. Now, schools and universities are looking to lawmakers for additional funding to open schools safely and help secure connectivity for all of their students. 

Cal Cunningham released a television ad last month about the need to invest in education, especially as schools grapple with the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis. School funding has been a key priority for Cal in the next COVID-19 aid package, to ensure our educators and students have access to personal protective equipment, resources to conduct health screenings, and safe access to food for students who rely on school for part of their nutritional needs. He’s also called for lawmakers to take action to ensure every student has access to a device and is able to connect with their teacher through increased investment in broadband.

In an interview with WFMY, Cal Cunningham reiterated his priorities: “I’ve been raising my voice about the need to put additional resources in both the hands of our educators, but also in families hands to make sure that we can connect those young people with their teachers.”

A report from the NEA found that North Carolina could lose nearly 80,000 education jobs if state and local governments don’t receive the aid they need to relieve budget shortfalls. Cal has been calling for the federal government to step in and support small towns and cities who have seen devastating impacts to their budgets.

But instead of staying in Washington to get the job done, Senator Tillis packed up and left, leaving schools hanging in the balance. It’s past time he goes back to Washington and secure funding for North Carolina schools and communities. 

News & Observer: NC schools and universities want lawmakers to give them $350 million for COVID costs

By T. Keung Hui – August 25, 2020

  • North Carolina’s K-12 and higher education leaders asked state lawmakers Tuesday for $350 million in additional funding to deal with coronavirus needs now that schools are in back in session.
  • The state’s K-12 public schools, community colleges, UNC System and independent colleges all say that the coronavirus pandemic has led to additional costs that they hope the General Assembly will fund. State lawmakers are expected to discuss additional coronavirus relief spending when they return to Raleigh next week.
  • State lawmakers approved relief packages using federal CARES Act funding in the spring. Legislative researchers say that the state has between $552.4 million and $903.9 million in CARES money left to spend on education and other state needs.
  • Much of the money would be used for things such as buying additional personal protective equipment such as face coverings and hand sanitizers. But the requests cover other things such as helping students get connected to the Internet and providing financial aid to attend college.