A massive COVID-19 relief bill has been introduced in Congress that would help families with child-care assistance and school districts with education needs.
U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., is a co-sponsor of the Coronavirus Child Care and Education Relief Act, which would support education and child care by providing $430 billion to students, families, teachers and schools.
Duckworth had a virtual meeting Wednesday with Rock Island-Milan School District Superintendent Dr. Reginald Lawrence to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the school district and the need for digital equity.
"As school districts like Rock Island continue full remote learning into the new year, this pandemic continues to highlight the need for federal relief to our schools and more support for equitable and reliable internet connections," Duckworth said in a release. "Countless teachers, school districts and young people, particularly Black and Brown young people, are struggling with the realities of COVID-19."
The school district transitioned to full remote learning Nov. 18 and will continue until Jan. 19, 2021, when students return to a hybrid model of online and in-person learning.
Lawrence could not immediately be reached for comment.
Duckworth has been a longtime supporter of education. In September, she and other Senate colleagues sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission urging it to utilize the E-Rate program to provide internet connectivity to students at home. Duckworth said many students who lacked internet access were disproportionately from communities of color, low-income households and rural areas.
Duckworth successfully worked to include provisions in the HEROES Act that would extend the Pandemic EBT program for families with children who would have otherwise received free or reduced price meals in school.