The Illinois State Legislature is meeting this week in a brief session to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including what school reopening may look like, as well as consider a state budget that covers next school year. Please email your state rep and state senator and ask them to support the following legislative proposals:
- HB 5534 (Rep. Delia Ramirez and Sen. Robert Peters): This bill provides rent and mortgage relief and support for those who have lost income during this time.
- A state budget that includes appropriate funding for public schools. Schools have provided vital supports during the pandemic, like food and remote education, and will be a key site of the pandemic recovery. In addition to vital learning opportunities, schools provide students and families with physical and mental healthcare, English language and special education services, and connections with their communities. Cutting schools is thus a disaster as we repair the social impact of the pandemic.
- Schools can only be effective, however, if they are safe to return to. Schools need appropriate PPE including face coverings, cleaning and sanitation, physical distancing, and schedule accommodations. Educators must have a voice in this return to school. Support legislation that ensure educators’ input is guaranteed in school reopening plans.