The Illinois State Legislature begins meeting in a brief session today to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic—including what school reopening may look like—as well as consider a state budget that covers the next school year. Please email your state representative and state senator and ask them to support the following legislative proposals for our students and their families:
- 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 the global COVID-19 pandemic.
- 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 health care, English language and special education services, and connections to their communities. Cutting funding to schools would be a disaster in addressing the social impact of the pandemic.
- Schools can only be effective, however, if students and educators can return safely. Every school community will need appropriate PPE (including face coverings), cleaning and sanitation, physical distancing and schedule accommodations. Educators must have a voice in the return to our schools. Support legislation that ensures educators’ input is guaranteed in school reopening plans.