Jul 17, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden calls on Trump and Congress to pass emergency school funding

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden on Friday called on President Trump and Congress to pass a $30 billion emergency package to give public schools the resources they need to safely adapt in order to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The move, part of a broader five-point plan for reopening schools, is another contrast Biden is trying to draw between himself and Trump, who he says has made schools' situation "much worse" by failing to act.

  • He's also calling on Senate Republicans to pass Democrats' HEROES Act, which already passed the House and would provide roughly $58 billion for local school districts.

In the outline of his plan, Biden cites school officials who have estimated it would require $30 billion for districts to have the necessary resources to safely reopen.

  • He also calls for the emergency package to provide an additional $4 billion for schools to upgrade their technology and broadband capabilities.
  • "This year, going back to school is going to look very, very different. And we know how hard it's going to be for families all across the country," Biden says in a video he filmed with his wife, Jill, that the campaign released along with the plan.
  • "If I'm elected president, our students and educators are going to have all the tools and resources they need to succeed," he added.

Biden's wider plan also includes:

  • Controlling the coronavirus by implementing nationwide testing and strengthening supply chains.
  • Establishing national safety guidelines for reopening that empower local leaders, as set by the CDC and other federal agencies.
  • Promoting high-quality remote learning, creating a joint effort between the Department of Education and practitioners to create, implement and share best practices for remote learning, safer schools and resources for caregivers and parents to better navigate the new normal.
  • Closing the "COVID-19 educational equity gap" by proposing a White House initiative to come up with policy solutions for the racial and socioeconomic disparities in education.

Biden's full school reopening plan.

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