First Focus Campaign for Children sent the following letter to Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) supporting their bill, the Reopen and Rebuild America’s Schools Act of 2021 (S. 96 / H.R. 604)..

Excerpt From the Letter:

Students and teachers deserve to learn and work in a building free from environmental and occupational hazards. Yet nearly 50 million students and 3 million teachers are put at risk because of crumbling school infrastructure, and many are exposed to toxins like asbestos, lead, copper, and mold. Exposure to such toxins can impair cognitive functioning and damage lung function, impacting children for the rest of their lives.

The coronavirus pandemic has only exacerbated the problem, as many schools do not have adequate ventilation systems which are key to safe reopenings and getting students and teachers back to in person learning. As students and school staff prepare to return to school, massive budget shortfalls coincide with the need for a comprehensive transformation of school facilities. To return safely, billions are needed . The Reopen and Rebuild America’s Schools Act invests $100 billion to transform school infrastructure as well as providing $30 billion in bond authority to support high-poverty schools. Inequity in school funding has long been a stain on our nation and this act takes a step to mitigate compounding inequality.

Read the full letter here.