COVID-19 Education Relief: Congress Dithers and Advocates Fume

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The education community’s optimism about a big pandemic relief package from Uncle Sam has curdled into dismay and frustration. And with a presidential election and furor over a Supreme Court nomination at the top of Washington’s agenda, it’s possible that it will go bad beyond all recognition.

Ever since President Donald Trump signed a coronavirus relief bill in late March in the pandemic’s earliest phase, educators warned that looming state and local K-12 budget cuts amounting to billions of dollars, along with safety concerns from school communities caused by the coronavirus, required another response and more resources that only the federal government could provide.

Leaders from both parties in Congress publicly and vigorously agreed. They pronounced repeatedly that something had to be done to help education beyond the roughly $13 billion for K-12 schools included in the CARES Act and an additional $3 billion it provided for governors to

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