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Children in elementary school wearing masks enter a classroom with desks spaced apart as per coronavirus guidelines during summer school sessions in Monterey Park, Calif. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

The American Federation of Teachers on Monday warned Congress that 1.4 million public education jobs could be at risk if it doesn't move to prioritize funding for state and local governments in its next coronavirus stimulus package.

Why it matters: The call from the nation's second-largest largest teachers' union comes as Congress is set to begin negotiations on its "phase 4" coronavirus relief package — and there's no clear consensus between Democrats and Republicans regarding the inclusion of state and local relief in that bill.

By the numbers: The AFT's report identifies a $93.5 billion funding gap in PreK-12 education, and $45 billion in shortfalls in higher education funding caused by the coronavirus recession.

  • It also says that another $116.5 billion would be needed in order to give schools and colleges necessary equipment to prevent virus spread, like masks, Plexiglas and hand-washing stations.

What they're saying: "Our nation is at a critical crossroad, and the decisions Congress and the president make in the next two weeks will be felt for generations to come," said AFT President Randi Weingarten in a news release.

  • "If Congress fails to act now, millions more American workers will be relegated to the unemployment lines and a generation of students will be added to the coronavirus toll. This time it’s foreseeable, and those who refuse to act will bear the consequences.”

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Updated Oct 27, 2020 - Economy & Business

Winter coronavirus threat spurs new surge of startup activity

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

U.S. coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are surging, with cold weather arriving before even the best-case scenario for a widely distributed vaccine. Now we're also beginning to see an increase in coronavirus-related startup funding, focused on both testing and pharma.

Driving the news: Gauss, a Silicon Valley computer vision startup focused on health care, tells Axios that it's raised $10 million to accelerate development and commercialization of an at-home rapid antigen test for COVID-19.

Updated Oct 19, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Mix-and-matching gains momentum — Boosters overtake first doses in U.S. — Pfizer to vaccinate Brazilian cityPanel endorses J&J booster.
  2. Health: Age is still a huge coronavirus risk factor — Unvaccinated 11x more likely to die from COVID — 5x more police officers died from COVID than guns.
  3. Politics: Over 30 states limited public health powers — Pope Francis calls on companies to release vaccine patents — Melbourne, "world's most locked-down city," to lift stay-at-home orders.
  4. Education: Education secretary reveals limits to Biden’s mask push on states — LA extends deadline for school employee vaccinations — Parent sues Wisconsin school district after child tests positive.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Trump says he plans to launch new social media network in 2022

Photo: Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Trump on Wednesday announced plans to launch a social media network called "Truth Social," and that it would go public via a SPAC.

Why it matters: Most ex-presidents are focused on their legacies, by creating presidential libraries or engaging in philanthropic endeavors. Trump, however, remains consumed by social media.

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