PSEA president lauds U.S. House vote on American Rescue Plan

My PSEA Login



PSEA president lauds U.S. House vote on American Rescue Plan

Plan provides emergency funding to public schools to aid return to in-person instruction

For further information contact:
Chris Lilienthal (717) 255-7134
David Broderic (717) 255-7169

HARRISBURG, PA (Feb. 27, 2021) – PSEA President Rich Askey welcomed the early morning vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to advance the American Rescue Plan, legislation that will provide $170 billion in dedicated education funding and $350 billion in state and local aid.

“The American Rescue Plan will provide dedicated education funding that will help schools make in-person instruction as safe as it can be,” Askey said. “This funding will support efforts to modify school buildings to better accommodate social distancing and improve ventilation, furnish personal protective equipment to employees, and intensify support and instruction for students impacted by the pandemic.

“Just as importantly, it will ensure that educators and support professionals stay on the job, educating and meeting students’ needs. Many school districts have seen a decline in local tax and revenue collections as a result of the pandemic’s economic impacts. The American Rescue Plan will ensure those districts don’t have to resort to further layoffs of educators and other essential public servants at exactly the time we need those professionals most.

“The plan also includes much needed funding to connect more students to the internet and technology, especially in rural and high-poverty communities. Lack of internet access has been an educational problem in parts of Pennsylvania and across the nation for a long time. The pandemic is drawing more attention to it, and this is our opportunity to fix it. No student should have less access to online educational resources simply because of their ZIP code.”

Askey is a Harrisburg music teacher and the president of PSEA. An affiliate of the National Education Association, PSEA represents about 178,000 active and retired educators and school employees, student teachers, higher education staff, and health care workers in Pennsylvania.