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

National Governors Association leaders express concern over Trump's unemployment order

President Trump at a press briefing on Aug. 10. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump's executive action calling on states to provide 25% of an additional $400 in weekly unemployment benefits poses "significant administrative burdens and costs," according to a bipartisan letter from the leaders of the National Governors Association.

Why it matters: Many states have had their budgets decimated by the coronavirus pandemic and cannot afford pitching in an $100 extra per unemployed resident. Several state unemployment offices told Axios that they don't even know how the program works, and that any changes to state unemployment systems would take weeks to implement.

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Georgia governor: It's up to schools to enforce wearing masks

Gov. Brian Kemp at a press conference on Aug. 10. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Monday said the responsibility should be on schools to enforce a mandate on face coverings, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reports.

Why it matters: Georgia is reporting the fifth-most coronavirus cases in the country, per Johns Hopkins, and the risk of spread in the state is high.

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World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

The number of COVID-19 cases surpassed 20 million worldwide on Monday evening, Johns Hopkins data shows.

The big picture: World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual press conference as the world approached the milestone that 750,000 deaths were set to be recorded this week. "Every life lost matters," he said. "But I want to be clear: there are green shoots of hope and... it's never too late to turn the outbreak around."