March 30, 2020
Contact: Laura Johnson
Vice President, Communications
Summer Learning: An Essential Education Strategy in $2 Trillion Bipartisan Coronavirus Stimulus Passage
Statement from Aaron Philip Dworkin, chief executive officer for the National Summer Learning Association on the Coronavirus Relief Act
BALTIMORE (March 30, 2020)– The National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) – the only national nonprofit exclusively focused on closing the achievement and opportunity gap by increasing access to high-quality summer learning opportunities – applauds the passage of the bipartisan CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act. As the U.S. passes 100,000 cases of the virus, this historic $2 trillion legislation signed into law by President Trump on March 27, aims to stabilize a spiraling economy, extend financial relief to families and businesses, and expand supports for the nation’s public education system. This unprecedented relief package includes a $13.5 billion for K-12 education with summer learning cited as an important allowable use of the funding to states and school districts.
The bill notes: Planning and implementing activities related to summer learning and supplemental afterschool programs, including providing classroom instruction or online learning during the summer months and addressing the needs of low-income students, students with disabilities, English learners, migrant students, students experiencing homelessness, and children in foster care.
“Decades of research confirm that low income students fall behind their wealthier peers during the summer months. The Coronavirus crisis exacerbates the digital divide, food insecurity, childcare issues and learning losses millions of underserved students and their families face every summer. While we cannot predict the length of this nationwide crisis of extended school closures, this is the time for education and policy leaders to think through how best to prepare, partner and leverage this coming summer as a unique opportunity to serve and support our nation’s children and youth,” said Aaron P. Dworkin, NSLA CEO.
“To best serve youth and families in this unprecedented moment, collaboration across educational domains is essential. Schools cannot and should not be asked to take on the burden of this work alone. We are pleased to see the stimulus package specifically call out summer learning as an allowable use of relief funds. NSLA stands ready to support the nation’s school districts, families and out of school time community in leveraging the summer months to help all our young people catch up, stay healthy and thrive during this pandemic.”
On May 27, NSLA will host a virtual press briefing to share findings from the first cross-sector report, Shaping Summertime Experiences: Opportunities to Promote Healthy Development and Well-Being for Children and Youth,recently released by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS). Esteemed health, education and policy experts will share key insights on the investments, programs and policies critical to improving conditions for children and families during the summer months and in the midst of the COVID 19 crisis. For more information, email Laura Johnson at Ljohnson@summerlearning.org.
About the National Summer Learning Association
The National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) is the only national nonprofit exclusively focused on closing the achievement and opportunity gap by increasing access to high-quality summer learning opportunities. NSLA has experts and a network of partners who can identify high-quality local programs to meet the needs of any learner, provide information on summer program practice and policies, offer tips for families and share the national context of summer’s essential role in education. To learn more about NSLA, visit summerlearning.org.