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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 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Empire State Building among hundreds to light up in Biden inauguration coronavirus tribute.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.

Woman who allegedly stole laptop from Pelosi's office to sell to Russia is arrested

Photo: FBI

A woman accused of breaching the Capitol and planning to sell to Russia a laptop or hard drive she allegedly stole from Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office was arrested in Pennsylvania's Middle District Monday, the Department of Justice said.

Driving the news: Riley June Williams, 22, is charged with illegally entering the Capitol as well as violent entry and disorderly conduct. She has not been charged over the laptop allegation and the case remains under investigation, per the DOJ.

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