March 15, 2019
Tell your representative to support the Dream and Promise Act
The Dream and Promise Act of 2019 (H.R. 6), introduced on March 12, provides multiple pathways to citizenship in keeping with America’s values and history as a nation of immigrants. As many as 2.5 million people could obtain legal status and ultimately citizenship via higher education, military service, or employment. The bill would also allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition and apply for federal financial aid and work-study programs. Those eligible for legal status and citizenship include Dreamers brought to this country before their 18th birthday, regardless of whether they participate in Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and people allowed to remain here for humanitarian reasons under the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) programs. “H.R. 6 will provide the protection and certainty our neighbors, our friends, and, yes, our students and peers deserve,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. “More to the point, this proposal justly upholds our country’s values of welcoming immigrants and their many contributions to our country.” Click on the take action button and tell your representative to support the Dream and Promise Act.
Urge your senators and representative to support the Equality Act
The Equality Act (H.R. 5/S. 788), reintroduced this week with the support of nearly 300 members of Congress, would give LGBTQ people consistent and explicit protection from discrimination in key areas of life: employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service. The bill would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Housing Act, and other federal laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics. The Equality Act would also clarify that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act cannot be used as a license to discriminate in civil rights contexts. A recent Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) survey found that the overwhelming majority of Americans — 71 percent — support laws like the Equality Act. Click on the take action button and tell your representatives to support the Equality Act.
Tell Congress to reject the Trump/DeVos budget proposal and increase education funding
The Trump/DeVos budget proposal for fiscal 2020, which begins Oct. 1, slashes U.S. Department of Education funding by $7.1 billion while providing $5 billion for a voucher scheme similar to the one Congress soundly rejected during debate on the 2017 GOP tax bill. “Betsy DeVos doesn’t understand that as a country we have a responsibility to provide a great neighborhood public school for every student and that improving our public schools requires investing in them — not taking away resources,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. “This latest attempt to push an agenda that is academically ineffective, fiscally irresponsible and that funds discrimination at the expense of student opportunity illustrates how out of touch she is with what works.” In all, the Trump/DeVos budget would eliminate more than two dozen education programs, including public service loan forgiveness, subsidized student loans, Title II funding for teacher development, Title IV funding for academic support and enrichment, and after-school activities in 21st Century Community Learning Centers. The Trump/DeVos budget is the opposite of what we need to do. Click on the take action button and tell Congress to raise the budget caps, roll back the cuts, and increase funding for Title I, Title II, IDEA, and community schools.
Cheers and Jeers
Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), and Yvette Clarke (D-NY) introduced the Dream and Promise Act of 2019 (H.R. 6), which could provide a pathway to citizenship for as many as 2.5 million undocumented immigrants. The bill has 210 cosponsors.
Reps. David Cicilline (D-RI) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) reintroduced the Equality Act (H.R. 5/S. 788), which would include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics under federal law. The bill has 239 cosponsors in the House and 46 cosponsors in the Senate.
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) for questioning the voucher proposal in the Trump/DeVos fiscal 2020 budget proposal during a Senate Budget Committee hearing.
Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) reintroduced the Relocation Expense Parity Act, which would make job-related moving costs fully tax deductible for all educators employed by the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA).
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) reintroduced the Healthy Families Act, which would set a national standard for paid sick days to help meet the health and financial needs of working families.
Fifty-nine senators voted to block President Trump’s manufactured declaration of a national emergency so that he can build a wall on our southern border even though Congress has repeatedly refused to appropriate money for it.
Sens. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Reps. Jahana Hayes (D-CT) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) introduced a resolution to prevent federal funds from being used to arm educators. Doug Prouty, Vice President of the Maryland State Education Association, represented NEA at their press conference about the resolution.
The Trump/DeVos fiscal 2020 budget would cut U.S. Department of Education funding by $7.1 billion — 10 percent compared to 2019 — while diverting $5 billion in taxpayer dollars to a voucher scheme soundly rejected by Congress.
Forty-one senators declined to block President Trump’s manufactured declaration of a national emergency.